A Power of Attorney is a useful device which enables others to handle your affairs or act on your behalf for example in the sale of a property if you go abroad. We can usually prepare these documents as and when they are required i.e. at the point of sale. These are often referred to as an “ordinary” Power of Attorney.
However many people now associate Powers of Attorney with the long term planning of their financial and medical affairs by the use of a Lasting Power of Attorney.
We provide specialist advice to clients in Romford and the surrounding areas on Powers of Attorney including home visits.
Lasting Power of Attorney
An “ordinary” power of attorney will not last beyond the mental incapacity of the person who granted it. This is because the statutory rules which apply to powers of attorney state that where the person who granted the power (the Donor) loses mental capacity the Power of Attorney will automatically lapse. This is why for long term planning you need a Lasting Power of Attorney. This is a special type of power of attorney – it will only be validly granted if certain specific steps are taken before it is signed and can only be validly used if registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in the event of mental incapacity. These are safeguards brought in to prevent abuse.
Clients planning for old age often ask us to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney to enable their relations (often their children) to manage their affairs should the worst happen. The Power can be granted to one of more individuals and will obviously assist them in caring for you when you cannot look after your own affairs i.e. it will enable them to maintain your bank account, obtain your pension, sell your property etc.
It is obviously crucial that the Donor has the requisite mental capacity when granting the power but once granted and registered with the OPG the attorney can continue acting on behalf of the Donor when such capacity is lost.
How much does a Lasting Power of Attorney Cost
We charge £500 plus VAT for a single Lasting Power of Attorney.
If you want two Lasting Powers of Attorney we charge a further £250 for the second LPA. So if you want both a financial LPA and a health & welfare LPA the fee will be £750 plus VAT.
Similarly, if you are a couple (married or otherwise) we will charge a further £250 + VAT for the second LPA (e.g. if you both want a financial LPA we will charge £750 plus VAT in total).
There is a further discounted charge for couples wanting to make both financial and health and welfare LPAs – we would limit our fee to £1,250 plus VAT for the four LPAs.
To register the LPA there is a Court Fee. This is a maximum sum of £82 for each LPA (bear in mind therefore if there are two LPAs there will be a fee of £164 and so on). The Court Fee does reduce to £41 if the Donor’s income is less than £12,000 pa or £0(nil) if the donor is in receipt of certain means tested benefits. For reasons which we explain in our guide it is advisable to register the Lasting Power of Attorney when put in place.
Remember this includes attending the Donor (the person making the Power) to take instructions, providing advice in writing, preparing the LPA forms and any notice forms and the application for registration. Attending upon the Donor is simply a lawyer phrase to explain that we will meet with you to explain and sign the LPA and sign the capacity certificate*. After this we will arrange for the Attorneys to sign, deal with the serving of the required notices and lodge the completed LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. Once this process has been completed and the LPA formally registered we will report to you on the registration date and forwarding the registered LPA to you.
We normally make an additional charge based on home or hospital visits (for example a visit to the Queens Hospital in Romford adds £50 plus VAT per trip).
In some circumstances we will not be able to sign the capacity certificate if you do not pass the tests we employ. In these cases a doctor will be needed to sign the capacity certificate and a supplemental charge will be made to cover this extra cost.
Our fees are fixed and includes providing all face to face advice concerning the proper completion and grant and applying to the Court to register the Lasting Power.
We offer a home service for clients in Havering including Romford Hornchurch Harold Wood Harold Hill Gidea Park Barking and Dagenham who require a Lasting Power of Attorney.
For further information we have produced various guides