Lasting Powers of Attorney
There may come a point where you no longer have the mental capacity to decide upon matters related to your finances and property or indeed your overall welfare. For this you will need a Lasting Power of Attorney to act on your behalf.
Read MoreWhat happens if you lose Mental Capacity?
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that enables a person you trust, such as a family member or otherwise, to make important decisions about your health and welfare and/or your financial affairs on your behalf, should you be unable to make these decisions due to the loss of mental capacity.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”). It is possible to make either one or both types – it is your choice.
- Single LPA i.e. one person making one LPA – £350 + vat and court registration fee (£82 per LPA).
- Two people making one type of LPA each – £500.00 + VAT and the court registration fees of £164.00.
- Single person making both types of LPA – £500.00 + VAT and court registration fees of £164.00.
- Couple making both types of LPA – £750.00 + VAT and court registration fees of £328.00.
The court registration fee is set by the court. If you have a low income or are in receipt of certain benefits the court may agree to waive the fee entirely or reduce it.
What does the fee include?
- An initial appointment to discuss your requirements;
- Advice regarding your options;
- Drafting your LPA’s;
- Meeting with you again to go through them and signing the documents;
- Acting as your certificate provider (if we are unable to do this, we will advise you of the options available to you);
- Liaising with your attorneys to provide them with advice regarding the natures of their role and asking them to sign the documents;
- Liaising with the Office of the Public Guardian to register the documents;
- Providing you with two certified copies of each LPA; and
- Storing the original documents if you wish.
As with Wills, if we feel that a capacity report from a doctor is necessary we can obtain a doctor’s report and will advise you of the doctor’s fees which will be in addition to our fees.
Time scales for Lasting Powers of Attorney
Once we have received complete information from you we will usually aim to have drafted the forms within 14 days. We will then arrange an appointment with you to go through the forms and arrange for you to sign them. Following this, we will then send the form to your attorneys with instructions on how they should sign the forms.
Once the forms have been completed and signed by all parties we will then submit the LPA to the Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) to register the document. The registration process can take up to 15 weeks before we receive the LPA back from the OPG.
Lasting Power of Attorney Frequently Asked Questions
Court of Protection
If you have not set up a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you were able to do so, and have since lost your mental capacity, others may need to step in to look after your financial affairs.
In these circumstances, an application to the Court of Protection is necessary. There are various different types of application that can be made to the Court of protection but the most common is for a Deputyship Order.
What is a Deputyship Order?
A Deputyship Order is a court order which formally nominates someone to look after your financial affairs. It will provide strict guidance on what the Deputy has and does not have, authority to do. Without either a Lasting Power of Attorney or a Deputyship order no-one has any rights to access your bank accounts, deal with any benefit claims (including a state pension), pay any bills on your behalf or generally deal with your financial affairs.
Court of Protection Fees
Our costs for this type of work can be calculated as follows:
- Fixed Costs. These costs are set by the Court and are currently £950.00 + VAT and disbursements.
- If our fees (calculated by the amount of time we have spent working on your file) exceeds the £950.00 + VAT as stated above, and we are unable to reach an agreement with you about our fees, we are able to apply to the Court, for the Court to decide our fees. There will be a further Court fee incurred when applying for this procedure.
- Time costed – this means that we charge an hourly rate for the total amount of time it has taken us to work on your file. This will include time spent meeting with you and others, time spent travelling and waiting, considering, drafting and working on documents and correspondence, and making and receiving telephone calls. The hourly rates in the WTP team range from £110.00 to £201.00 + VAT.
What is included?
- An initial appointment to discuss your requirements
- Advice regarding your options
- Drafting all of the necessary Court application forms
- Meeting with you again to explain the forms and arrange for them to be signed
- Contacting the patient’s doctor to request a capacity assessment
- Submitting the application to the court
- Serving notice on all relevant people as directed by the court
- Advising you of the Deputy security bond; and
- Providing you with original court order once it has been received.
What is not included?
- Dealing with and attending at any court hearing that may be set (this is unusual)
- Dealing with any challenges to the application; and
- Completing the annual Deputy reporting forms.
The disbursements (third part payments) that currently apply to Deputyship applications are:
- Court fee – £365. In some cases it is possible to apply to the court for the fee to be reduce or waived.
- Capacity report – doctors fees vary but are usually between £150.00 – 300.00.
- Security Bond – this is calculated on a sliding scale according to the value of the patient’s assets.
Investing for someone as their attorney or deputy?
On 8th May 2019 the Office of the Public Guardian published guidance for attorneys. The guidance sets out the principals that attorneys must consider when making investment decisions on behalf of a person who lacks capacity. It also provides a helpful checklist of issues to consider in the decision making process. Their guidance can be found below:
2 steps to contacting Howells:
We’ll listen carefully to you, clarify what you’re trying to achieve, and then explain if and how we can help you. We will take some initial information and liaise with a legal professional regarding your case. If it looks like we can help, we will book you in for a consultation with a legal professional.
Our team are highly knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of Wills and Probate. They are passionate about helping people take control of their affairs and ensuring rights and wishes are upheld. The team will put you at your ease immediately – while their professionalism and eye for detail will have you leaving relaxed and reassured.
We can meet with you personally in the comfort of our offices in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. If you are physically unable to attend any of our offices, a home visit can be arranged.