Lasting Powers of Attorney in Essex.
Why have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) ?
Today if an adult loses the ability to make their own decisions, all their financial arrangements including bank accounts and investments, even those held jointly are “frozen”. Financial Institutions will quote the Incapacity Act, and deny the spouse and family all access until they can produce Court of Protection authority to act and sign on the incapacitated person’s behalf. Until then no money!
♣ If you lose mental capacity through illness or an accident who will look after your financial & personal welfare?
♣ Once you have lost mental capacity it is too late to write a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), the courts will appoint somebody to run your affairs, this is costly and will take time.
By taking action today you can offset all the stress and the expense of the Court of Protection. Remember like a Will you need to arrange your Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in advance.
We offer clear practical guidance, without any jargon so you are aware of the options that best suit you and your family.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document used to appoint another person or persons to act on your behalf. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), one to cover your financial affairs, the other to cover your health.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) Property gives your chosen Attorney’s the right to look after all your financial affairs. For example looking after your bank accounts, paying utility bills, making investment decisions, or even selling your home. Restrictions can be built into a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) limiting the scope of the powers if required, but rest assured your Attorneys are fully accountable for their actions.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) Health allows you to predetermine matters such as care needs i.e. you would rather stay in your own home, or life sustaining drugs etc, and takes the decision making away from somebody who possibly doesn’t know you.
To make either arrangement you (the donor) needs to have mental capacity, once lost it is too late to act, forcing your family to make an expensive and long winded application to the Court of Protection.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s) need to be registered with the Court of Protection to make them valid, this is currently taking up to 13 weeks due to the realisation by many that this document is as vitally important as a Will.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) health can only be used once mental capacity is lost, but a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) finance can be used once registered, so a restriction can be included if desired making it valid only once you are incapable of making decisions for yourself.
Put simply, more and more people are now looking to effect some element of control over their lives, via someone they trust, at a time when they are unable to communicate their own wishes. Before the existence of such instruments, if we became incapacitated through old age, infirmity, or loss of capacity, we were largely at the mercy of the State and of Institutions. With the creation of the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) this no longer has to be the case, provided we act early enough.
Are you a Business owner ?
Have you ever considered who would run your business if you were unable to do so ? By putting a Business Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place, which would be seperate from your personal LPA, you could predetermine who would run your company in your absence. Your chosen attorney(s) may well be different from those chosen for your domestic LPA, as they will most likely need specialist knowledge of your business.
Who to consider as an Attorney ?
More often than not our clients will appoint their children, as well as their spouse to act as Attorneys circumventing the need to involve Social Services in the decision making process. It is also highly appropriate to consider appointing close trusted friends to act as Attorneys too.
We offer a unique low cost Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) service, and will be happy to send you our free Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) information pack that will help make a complicated subject considerably easier to comprehend.
A Living Will - an alternative to a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) health.
Why would you want to consider an alternative to an Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) health?
Two possible reasons:
♣ You feel that asking someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf, is asking too much and is unfair.
♣ Or, it might be cost, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) costs more, and will most likely incur a registration fee.
So what exactly is a Living Will? It’s official name is an Advanced Directive (AD), because you are making your wishes (directives) known in advance.
Every competent adult has a right to refuse treatment, or to state circumstances in which they would not wish treatment to be offered to them. It is recognised that such wishes can be formally recorded within an Advanced Directive. It is also worth noting that Living Wills are now recognised in Law, and as such are binding upon the medical profession, where previously they were not.
Things to Consider:
♣ An Advance Directive is effectively “written in stone”, so if you do lose capacity it cannot be changed. On the other hand, if you had chosen a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) health your attorney could at least have a discussion with your medical team, at which point they might arrive at a decision that you would have been happy with.
♣ Under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), the doctors can still overrule the attorney(s)
♣ In other words neither is a perfect answer, and you must make your choice now, based on your best instincts, and good advice from family and friends. If you can avoid it, do not make the choice on cost alone, but rather on your instincts of what feels right and best for you.
Are you exempt from paying the registration fee charged by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) for your Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) ? Currently £130 per LPA.
You do not have to pay any fees if you receive any of the following benefits:
♣ Income Support
♣ Income based Employment and Support Allowance
♣ Income-based Job-Seeker’s Allowance
♣ Pension Guarantee Credit element of State Pension Credit (you will not be eligible if this is calculated as nil)
♣ A combination of Working Tax Credit and either Child Tax Credit Disability Element Working Tax Credit or Severe Disability Element
♣ Housing Benefit, or Council Tax Benefit (not including the 25% single person reduction)
♣ Local Housing Allowance
You can request a fee exemption at the time you pay the fee. Your request must have supporting evidence, such as an official letter or entitlement notice from the appropriate benefit provider. It should be no more than three months old, must contain your title, full name, address and postcode. It must also confirm that you currently receive the benefit.
If you don’t supply the right evidence you will have to pay the full fee.
Fee remission – Getting a partial discount.
Even if you don’t qualify for a fee exemption, it is still possible that you won’t have to pay the full fee. Getting a discount on a fee is called ‘fee remission’.
Fee remission is based on annual income before tax and National Insurance are deducted. State benefits, pensions, interest from any investments and non-means-tested benefits (such as Disability Living Allowance) are also considered.
If your gross annual income is less than £12,000, you only need to pay 50% of the registration fee.
Currently the registration fee charged by the Office of the Public Guardian stands at £130/LPA.
♣ Please contact us for a FREE Will and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) pack outlining the options available to you, along with the process involved.
♣ PROBATE - We do not carry out probate work, but would be able to recommend a Probate Practitioner if required.
♣ P.I. COVER - We carry Professional Indemnity Insurance of £2 million.
♣ Berkeley Trusts and Wills offers a specialist Will Writing and Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA) service throughout the Essex community, predominately operating within the Southend, Leigh-on-Sea, Chelmsford, and Brentwood corridor.
♣ Home, care home and hospital appointments are available outside regular working hours.
Berkeley Trusts and Wills is an appointed representative of New Leaf (WWF) Ltd. Company registration number 7891401.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.
Lasting Power of Attorney Brentwood.
Lasting Power of Attorney Chelmsford