Solicitor Rebecca Hutchinson examines the new fees to register a Lasting Power of Attorney.
From 1st April 2017, the fee to register a Lasting Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian will fall from £110 to £82.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document which authorises one or more persons to take action on your behalf if you are unable to do so, for example if you lose capacity through accident or illness. A Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used during your lifetime and is separate from a Will. People usually choose family members or close friends to act as their attorneys but sometimes a professional such as a solicitor or accountant will act in this role.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney. The first is a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney; this authorises your attorney(s) to take action in respect of your property and finances, for example they may use it to pay bills, sell property and manage bank accounts and investments on your behalf.
The second type is a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. This can only be used if you lose capacity and will allow your attorney(s) to make decisions in respect of your medical care, where you live and life-sustaining treatment.
Neither document can be used until it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian. As of the 1st April the registration fee will be £82 per Lasting Power of Attorney.
Do I need one?
Many people recognise the benefits of making a Will, however it is just as important to put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney. Making a Lasting Power of Attorney gives you control over who will manage your own affairs if you become incapable of doing so yourself, giving you peace of mind that your affairs will be managed by someone you trust.
In the event that you lose capacity without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, someone will need to apply to the Court to be appointed to look after your affairs. This can be a very costly and time-consuming process and brings with it a number of ongoing administrative requirements.
Can we help?