Lasting Power of Attorney – The forgotten insurance policy

In Paul Berresford’s article of the 31st January, he talked about the importance of planning for the future by making a Will.

This is the only way to make arrangements for people to deal with your affairs when you are no longer here, but what about planning for the future during your lifetime?

Many people have life insurance policies and make Wills to make sure their personal and financial affairs are dealt with properly after death, however an unforeseen event in your lifetime could prevent you being able to make decisions yourself or carry out your normal daily tasks without the assistance of others. For example, a road traffic accident, medical error or a severe stroke can occur at any age. It could cause mental incapacity that would mean you were unable to look after yourself or your children or manage your finances. A business owner may be prevented from running their business, causing problems for any employees and their families.

If you did suddenly find yourself incapable of dealing with your own affairs and did not have the appropriate preparations in place, your family will have to apply to the Office of the Public Guardian for a deputyship order. This is a long, complicated process that involves initial fees of over £1,500.00 and annual fees in excess of £700.00. This is a lot of money for many people and this would be on top of any other fees your family would have to pay to take care of you.

Your affairs would be also be managed by the Office of the Public Guardian who would supervise your ‘deputy’.

However, it is possible to avoid this situation by making a Lasting Power of Attorney. This is a document which allows you to appoint one or more people to act on your behalf and make decisions for you if required. There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney; the differences are explained in the Lasting Powers of Attorney section of our website.

The advantages of having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place are:-

  • You can choose who you want to manage your financial affairs.
  • You can give guidance on how you would like your affairs to be handled.
  • Your Attorneys can assist you whenever you need them to without a delay when the Lasting Power of Attorney is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
  • Peace of mind for you and your family.
  • The cost of preparing and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney is much lower than making an application for a deputyship order. Our charges for making a Lasting Power of Attorney are £250 plus VAT for an unregistered Power of Attorney, £400 plus VAT for a registered Power of Attorney or £600 plus VAT for a couple to each take out registered Lasting Powers of Attorney.
    A court registration fee of £130.00 is applicable to each document. However, you may be exempt from this fee if your annual income is below £12,000.00 or you are in receipt of certain benefits.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is an often overlooked, cost effective way of insuring your future and will make sure that someone you trust will be able to help you in the event you become incapable of dealing with your own affairs and like a Will, everyone would benefit from having one.