You may know of Hunter Davies, a journalist in his 80s who writes on money matters in the Sunday Times every week. A man who does not mind being described as mean, this week he wrote about making Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”) without the assistance of a solicitor. 

As he said, in the event of him losing capacity, he wanted to give his children access to his bank accounts, authority to sell his house and authority to tell his doctors to switch the machines off.  He therefore needed to make both kinds of LPA, one for Property and Financial Affairs and the other for Health and Welfare.

Like many people of his age, Mr Davies doesn’t like to do things online and accordingly he called the Office of the Public Guardian and asked them to send him printed forms in the post, which they did. It then took him a few days and several goes to understand them and work out what he needed to do. Then he signed them, he got his children and a neighbour to sign them, and then he sent them off to the Public Guardian with the fees of £82 each for registration.  Then it turned out there was something wrong with one of the signatures so one of them had to be done all over again and a fresh fee of £82 paid. 

We would have thought that Mr Davies’ experience was fairly typical. LPAs are pernickety things to make, and that’s why our fees are relatively high at £1,000 plus VAT for both kinds of LPA for a couple.  However, if you instruct us then you only have to fill in one, fairly simple, form and we will take care of the rest. You will also be able to discuss the implications of your decisions. Once registered, we usually store the originals and you can set restrictions on when they can be released. 

Nobody knows if they are going to be the unlucky person who loses capacity before they die, but if this does happen then an LPA is a vastly preferable alternative compared with hoping for the best and then your family having to operate under the deputyship regime.  Please don’t hesitate to call if you are thinking about making LPAs.   

 

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