The idea of undertaking anything that is legal can often seem like a daunting process. Quite often we worry about the cost involved. Especially when we have to involve Solicitors.
With there always being so many other bills to pay to pay. We end up putting off anything that we believe can wait another day.
Although you may not need a Lasting Power of Attorney today, there may come a time in the future where it is vital for your wellbeing.
It is important to note that it can only be legally made and registered whilst you have full mental capacity. Should you wait and you lose mental capacity. Without an LPA in place it can make the whole process harder for your loved ones.
So, how much will setting up your LPA cost?
What is a lasting power of attorney?
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document which allows someone that you (the Donor) have appointed to make decisions on your behalf (Your Attorney).
This could be a temporary situation. For example, you may be in hospital for a period of time and will need someone to handle your finances and the payment of your bills. In this scenario you would require an ordinary power of attorney.
An LPA is designed for a longer period of time such as if you lose mental capacity due to an illness.
The are two types of LPA’s
Health and Welfare
This allows another person to make decisions on your behalf regarding all of your health and welfare needs.
- They can make decisions on where you should live.
- What medical care you receive
- Your daily routine, such as eating and dressing.
- Your social activities.
- They can also make decisions regarding any life saving treatment you may require.
This type of LPA can only be used once you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.
Property and Finance
This type of LPA allows another person to handle all of your finances and any properties that you own.
It differs from a health and welfare LPA in the fact that this can be used as soon as it is registered, should you wish.
For example, a Soldier deploying would benefit from a property and finance LPA so that his finances can be looked after whilst he is away.
This allows them to
- Pay your bills including your mortgage.
- Handle your bank accounts.
- Arrange repairs to any of your properties.
- Buy and sell property,
- Invest your money.
Your attorney must keep accounts and must also keep their own money separately from your money. At any time you or your solicitor can ask to see your accounts.
NOTE: Mental capacity is having the ability to make and communicate your decisions. To have mental capacity you must be able to understand the decisions you are making and their subsequent consequences. If someone is unable to communicate, that does not automatically mean that they lack mental capacity.
How much does it cost to make a LPA?
An LPA is made by completing several forms. However, these must be done in the correct order and everyone signing must sign in the specific order required.
Although you are able to complete and submit these forms yourself, it can be worthwhile doing this with a Solicitor to ensure that there are no mistakes. Solicitors prices will all vary between different firms.
Before your LPA can be used you must register it with the Office of the Public Guardian. This will cost £82. You will need to pay this registration fee twice if you are submitting both a health and welfare LPA and a Finance and Property LPA.
For those on a low income you may be able to get a 50% discount if your gross annual income is £12,000 or less.
For those that are in receipt of means tested benefits you may be able to obtain an exemption from the registration fee.
- Income support.
- Income based jobseekers allowance.
- Income based employments and support allowance.
- House benefit,
- Council tax reduction.
- Local housing allowance.
- A combination of Working tax credits, along with at least one of the following –
- Child tax credits.
- Disability element of working tax credits.
- Severe disability element of working tax credits.
NOTE: Not included – Disability living allowance, Invalidity benefit, Personal independence payment.
To apply for this exemption you must complete a LPA120A form and submit this with a copy of a letter from your benefit provider. Showing that you are in receipt of this benefit at the time of making your application. The letter must show your full name, address and postcode.
Important information of note
The registration process can take roughly nine weeks. You are not able to use your LPA until this is completed.
Although you may believe that creating and registering your LPA can wait. It is important to note that it can only be legally made and registered whilst you have full mental capacity. Should you wait and you lose mental capacity. Without an LPA in place it can make the whole process harder for your loved ones.