Power Of Attorney
Lasting Power of Attorney
Atheneys Law offer free initial advice about making a Lasting Power Of Attorney. Call our lasting power of attorney experts on (01202) 798867 or contact us online.
How much does a lasting Power of Attorney cost?
A Lasting Power of Attorney costs £250. See below for a full breakdown of costs and how you can save when creating more than one Lasting Power of Attorney.
What is a lasting power of attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney LPA allows you to give someone you trust the legal power to make decisions on your behalf in case you later become unable to make decisions for yourself during your lifetime. The people you appoint to manage your affairs are known as Attorneys. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a stand-alone legal document and is completely separate from your Will, although many people choose to make a Will at the same time.
If you are creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, you may also wish to consider creating an Advanced Directive, sometimes known as a Living Will.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney Explained.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney that can be created:
• Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
• Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare enables your attorneys to make decisions about medical treatment, where you live and the type of care that you receive. Your attorneys will also be able to make decisions about day to day things, such as your diet, how you dress and your daily routine.
You will also be able to give your attorneys the ability to make decisions about life sustaining treatment if you so wish. If you do not give your attorneys the authority to make such decisions for you, then medical professionals will be the ones who make such decisions for you.
If you have also made an advanced decision, then your medical professionals will need to consider this whilst giving you appropriate treatment.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs will allow your attorneys to manage your bank and savings accounts, which includes opening, closing and using the contents of those accounts. They will be able to make, sell or modify any investments that you may have.
If you receive any allowances, benefits or pensions your attorneys will be able to deal with these and allocate them in accordance with your needs. Your attorneys will also have the authority to pay any bills, pay for care fees and even buying or selling your house.
Why is a Lasting Power of Attorney so important?
10 reasons why you should make a lasting power of attorney:
1. As we live longer, the probability of losing our capacity to make decisions for ourselves increases.
We regularly hear in the news about medical advances and that the average life expectancy in the UK is on an upward trend. However, as our life expectancy increases, so does the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia. By the year 2025 it is anticipated that more than 1 million people in the UK will have dementia (Alzheimer society). If you are unfortunate and develop a mentally debilitating illness such as dementia, it can be difficult or possibly impossible to manage your own affairs. Making a Lasting Power of Attorney well in advance, when you have clear thinking and know what you want is by far the best solution.
2. Accidents Happen!
We all know that accidents do happen. There are unfortunately too many people who due to some unforeseen event, have their mental capacity taken from them. This could be a car accident, falling from a ladder or a simple trip or fall any of which can result in our ability to make decisions for ourselves being lost.
If the worst should happen, at least with a Lasting Power of Attorney in place you will know that there is someone who you trust to make those important decisions that you would otherwise have made yourself.
3. You are in control.
If you lose mental capacity, then you lose control of what happens to you. However, by putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney you are in effect still in control. You will have decided in advance who you want to appoint to deal with your financial and health affairs if you’re not able to. You will know that those people that you have appointed will do their best to ensure that your affairs are managed as you would have done yourself had you been able to.
4. The legal power to act.
In creating a Lasting Power Of Attorney, you are giving your attorneys the legal authority to manage your property and financial affairs and decisions regarding your health and welfare. Once registered a Lasting Power of Attorney becomes a legal document and should be recognised by all financial institutions and medical professionals in England and Wales.
5. Who will look after your business interests?
If you are a sole trader a business owner or in partnership, then you would be well advised to consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney that appoints an attorney who can take care of your business or business interests should you lose your mental capacity.
You can make sure you appoint the right person(s) to make decisions to minimise the disruption to the business, thereby ensuring business continuity.
6. Lasting Powers of Attorney are like an insurance policy.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is very much like an insurance policy. We all take out insurance policies on our cars, homes, holidays and possibly our health yet if everything goes to plan, we will never need any of them.
If you have taken the time to think about and create a Lasting Power of Attorney, but it is never needed, then yes you have paid for something you didn’t need. But is this not the best outcome in exactly the same outcome we want for all our insurance policies?
However, if our plans do go wrong at least we have the peace of mind of knowing everything is covered. A Lasting Power of Attorney is really the same thing, if things do go wrong, we know someone is there to make sure the right things happen.
7. Lasting Power of Attorney has built in protection.
If you have acted wisely in your choice of attorney, then your interests will be paramount in the decisions they make for you. But not only are they under a moral obligation to act in your best interests they are under a legal duty to act in accordance with The Mental Capacity Act 2005.
You can be safe in the knowledge that if an attorney does not act in your best interest or if any concerns are raised, then the Office of the Public Guardian will investigate and ultimately can remove any attorney if necessary.
8. The alternative to a Lasting Power of Attorney.
If you were to lose your mental capacity without having put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place all is not lost.
Should someone need to look after the financial and property affairs of a loved one, where no Lasting Power of Attorney has been created, then they can make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy so that they may act for the person who has lost mental capacity.
However, there are a few things which should be taken into consideration. Whilst your family will probably be the ones to make the application and the ones you would most likely wish to have appointed to make such decisions, there is no guarantee that the court will allow them to be deputies.
The costs of making an application to become a Deputy are far higher than those involved in creating a Lasting Power of Attorney. Additionally, unlike a Lasting Power of Attorney there will be ongoing yearly costs involved and documentation to submit to the court each year.
It is, therefore, beneficial, cheaper and far less burdensome to create a Lasting Power of Attorney now.
9. Deputyships applications for health and welfare are rarely given.
Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare, giving your attorney(s) the ability to make decisions about your medical treatment and your general welfare is something that many people value.
Without this type of Lasting Power of Attorney in place it is very unusual for anyone to be given similar powers under a deputyship order by the court. Such applications tend to be on a case-by-case basis.
10. The peace of mind a Lasting Power of Attorney brings to you.
Most people understand the importance of having their wishes carried out and few people would want a stranger to make decisions about their finances, property, health and welfare. This is why many people have already created a Lasting Power of Attorney for themselves.
Our clients often comment that having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place gives them great peace of mind. They take solace in knowing that should the worst happen they have entrusted their wealth and well-being to a reliable and trustworthy person of their choice.
Costs of a Lasting Power of Attorney:
If you are thinking of creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, you will want to know how much this is going to cost. Our initial visit is free of charge. We can explain the details and processes that are required to produce a legally valid Lasting Power of Attorney.
If you then want us just to create the Lasting Power of Attorney for you, we would charge a set fee of £165 per LPA. (This is our creation only service) we then provide you with the completed forms with instructions on how to sign the relevant pages and how to register the document with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Our most popular service is where we create all the documentation, supervise the completion by the relevant parties, act as the certificate provider and then have your documentation registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Once this is completed, we then deliver the now legally valid Lasting Power of Attorney back to you ready to be used should it be needed. For this we charge £250 for a single LPA (+ OPG Fees).
If you are creating both types of Lasting Power of Attorney at the same time, we reduce our price to £450 for an individual or for a couple, our price for two pairs of documents is £800.
In addition to our fees there are also the registration fees payable to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The standard fee for registration is £82 per document. However, if your income is below £12,000 per year this fee is reduced to £41 per document. If you are in receipt of certain means tested benefits, then the application fee will be wavered by the OPG.
If you are a member or retired member of the NHS, Armed Forces or Emergency Services we offer a 10% discount on this and many of our other services.
Please call to find out full details of this offer.