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Power Of Attorney

.Powers of Attorney are legal documents which authorises someone (your Attorney) to make decisions and to administer your affairs on your behalf in certain circumstances.  The Law changed in respect of the documentation of Powers of Attorney on the 1st October 2007.  Up to that date, the Authority was often documented in what was called an Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPA”) which was a short simple document which only needed to be registered at the Court of Protection if the person giving the authority became mentally incapacitated.

Since the 1st October 2007, no further EPAs can be created.  That does not effect the validity of any EPAs created before that date.  EPAs were, in effect, replaced with Lasting Powers of Attorney.

There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, one that covers Property and Affairs and the other personal welfare.

The concept behind having two separate types of Lasting Powers of Attorney is that those creating the Power of Attorney can have different people for each power. They may wish to have different people administer your property affairs and a different person looking after your personal welfare.  Notwithstanding that, in practice most people do choose to have the same people act as Attorneys in both types of Lasting Powers of Attorney.

We believe that making an LPAs is more important to you than an actual Will given that it actually affects you whilst you are still alive.

Failure to have either an existing EPA or LPA can cause considerable problems for you and loved ones who wish to look after you, given that if you do not have either of these, often the only way of obtaining authority to act on your behalf would be by way of a Court Order from the Office of Public Guardianship (formally known as the Court of Protection). That can be quite a lengthy and costly process.  It is considerably cheaper and advisable to document an LPA if you do not already have one or an existing EPA.

The LPAs are lengthy documents.  In the process of documenting the LPA, we would need to go through those documents with you.  That takes in the region of 1 hour to an hour and a half. We would also need to be satisfied that you have the requisite capacity to enter into the Lasting Power of Attorney.

The LPAs when completed are not effective until they are registered with the Office of Public Guardianship.  The Office of Public Guardianship charges a registration fee for the registration of each form.  At present, there is no ongoing annual registration fee.  Often in practice, people do not have the forms registered immediately and only seek to have them registered in the event of the person giving the authority losing capacity and needing to rely upon the LPA.  That does save the registration fee in the short term.  That potential saving does need to be balanced with the fact that when the LPA is required there may be a delay suffered pending the LPA being registered.

For further details, please do not hesitate in contacting us.

 

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