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Power of Attorney & Court of Protection

Protecting your family members is at the core of our private client services.

A Lasting Power of Attorney or Court of Protection can be required at any stage of life and for numerous reasons. Typically, however an LPA as it’s commonly known is required when a person needs care or additional support.

On this page we have outlined details regarding the following services:

Power of Attorney

It is a common misconception that your next of kin can make certain decisions for you if you are not able to, especially in respect of your health and wellbeing.

The reality is that you must formally give the power to another person to make decisions for you, even if that person is your spouse or civil partner.

Historically, these powers were granted in an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and these can still be valid today, however more recently, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is used and this is what we discuss here.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

There are two types of LPAs. One will deal with finances and property and the other deals with health and welfare.

For finances and property, if elected to do so, this can be used even if you have mental capacity. This is often useful for someone who is physically unable to get to the bank or sign documents for the sale of their property etc.

For health and welfare, this can only be used when someone has lost capacity to make decisions for themselves. This will deal with where someone lives, what they eat, how they are looked after and can also give permission to someone to make life sustaining decisions - this is optional.

It is important to know what someone can do for another person either with or without a LPA whether you are the donor (the person who needs help), the attorney (the person who can make decisions) or the third party who needs to rely on the LPA.

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Power of Attorney Legal Services in Ipswich, Colchester & St. John's Wood

What should you consider when you make an LPA?

  • Who do you want to make decisions for you?
  • Should they be able to make decisions on property and finances even if you have mental capacity?
  • Do you have specific requirements they MUST or SHOULD take into consideration?
  • Do you want them to be able to make decisions on life sustaining treatment?

What should you consider if relying on an LPA?

If someone (other than the person whose decision it is) is asking you to do something, what should you look out for?

  • Is this a decision they can make for a loved one or friend?
  • Could the person make the decision for themselves?
  • If not, should there be a formal LPA in place and is there one? Is it registered?
  • Who has the power to make the decision? If there is more than one person named, do they have to make
  • decisions together or can one or other of them do so?
  • Are there any restrictions meaning they cannot make the decision even if there is an LPA?

What can be done if there is not an LPA?

If someone has lost their ability to make their own decisions and they have not made an LPA, all is not lost. An application can be made to the Court of Protection for either a one off decision to be made or, more likely, to grant someone the power to make ongoing decisions. This can be costly and take time therefore it is advisable that, before they get to this stage, they consider making LPAs just in case.

How much does it cost to get a power of attorney?

Price: £350.00 plus VAT

Fees will be payable on producing the documents for you to sign.  If you decide to withdraw instructions part way through the work we are undertaking for you, a proportionate part of the fee will be payable.  This will be limited to the amount of the deposit that we will ask for up front.

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What is included in the price:

  • A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for one person for either
  1. Health and Welfare or
  2. Property and Financial affairs
  • The Second LPA can be added for £75 + VAT
  • Meetings at your local office to take instructions and sign the documents
  • Registration of your LPA
  • Storage in our secure vault (if required)

What is excluded from the price:

  • Home/hospital/care home visits
  • Issues relating to capacity
  • Tax advice
  • Advice on benefits
  • Legal advice outside of the service requested

Disbursements:

£82 per document registered with office of public guardian*

*People on low incomes or on certain benefits may qualify for reductions or a complete waiver of this cost.

Disbursements are payable before we incur the cost.

How long will it take?

It will take us 1 week from your first appointment to prepare your documents.  Once you are happy with the drafts, we will ask you to make a second appointment at your convenience to come in and sign the LPA.  Please note that all people you are appointing as attorneys will also need to sign the LPA.  If they are not able to attend the office with you, we will send you home with the LPA signed by you with instructions for your attorneys on their signing.  Once we have the LPA back signed by all parties, we will send the LPA off to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to register.  It is currently taking 6 weeks on average, for the OPG to register an LPA.

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What should I expect?

  1. A questionnaire will be sent via email or in the post.
  2. An appointment will be made, which is convenient for you.
  3. The LPA will be prepared and sent to you to approve.
  4. You will be asked to return to your local office to review and sign your LPA.
  5. All attorneys will need to sign the LPA.
  6. Once everyone has signed the LPA, We will send your LPA to the OPG to be registered.
  7. On return we either file your original in our vault at no extra cost and send you a certified copy or alternatively we can send you the original.

 

Completing your LPA remotely is easy

Preparing a Power of Attorney remotely enables you to give power to another person to make choice of your behalf, as if they were you. These decisions could be regarding your finances, health and Welfare.

 

  1. We will arrange for you to have a telephone or Skype meeting with one of our Private Client solicitors, prior to which your payment would be required and you would also need to send us a copy of your ID. During the telephone or Skype meeting we will discuss with you the best course of action*. 
  2. Our solicitor will then prepare your LPA and send it to you in the post with clear guidance of how to sign it. Part of our guidance would include requiring a person who have known you for 2 years plus to confirm you have capacity to sign.
  3. Once your LPA is signed your LPA is then a legally binding document.

* There may be occurs when unfortunately we have to question capacity or if a LPA is being made under duress. In these rare circumstances a phone interview may not be appropriate.

The same process can also be applied to writing a Will. For more information regarding writing a Will remotely please visit our webpage or call Laura Harrington-Rutterford on 01473 229855.

Currently, to help support the valuable work Age UK undertake Attwells Solicitors are donating 20% of your legal fee to Age UK Suffolk or Essex.

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Court of Protection

Price: £950.00 plus VAT              

Fees will be payable on producing the documents for you to sign.  If you decide to withdraw instructions part way through the work we are undertaking for you, a proportionate part of the fee will be payable.  This will be limited to the amount of the deposit that we will ask for up front.

What is included in the price:

  • Making an application to the Court of Protection to be a Deputy for either property and financial affairs or personal welfare

What is excluded from the price:

  • Appointing trustees (sometimes needed if a property has to be sold)
  • Challenging decisions of the Court of Protection for example, if they are not willing to approve the application
  • Tax advice
  • Advice on benefits
  • Legal advice outside of the service requested

Disbursements:

£385 court fee for the application*

£500 court fee but only if a full hearing is needed – this would be payable on top of the initial application fee

There are ongoing annual fees that you need to pay to the Court of Protection for supervising your appointment as a Deputy and these can range between £35 and £320 and depend on the type of Deputy you are and the amount of money that is held by the donor

There is a £100 assessment fee payable to the Court of Protection in your first year as a Deputy

There is often a bond that needs to be paid if you are applying to be a property and affairs Deputy

For a mental capacity assessment that is often needed for the application, a medical professional may make a charge for undertaking such an assessment.  The amount will depend on your location and the reason for lack of capacity as a specialist may need to make the assessment.

*People on low incomes or on certain benefits may qualify for reductions or a complete waiver of this cost.

Disbursements are payable before we incur the cost.

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How long will it take?

We will need to complete the required forms to make the application to apply to become a deputy.  We will let you know what information we need to complete the forms for you and this process should take a week.

There are a number of formalities that need to be complied with and this will depend on your circumstances.

We will need to get an assessment of the person you are applying to become the deputy of to confirm that they no longer have mental capacity.  This can take some time to arrange.

We may also need to notify certain people that you intend to make the application.

Depending on the formalities required, the process can often take up to 4 months before you may be appointed as a Deputy, if the Court are happy to do this.  In some circumstances, the Court may decide they need more information in considering the application and a further hearing may be needed which can extend this time.

What should I expect?

  1. A questionnaire will be sent via email or in the post.
  2. An appointment will be made, which is convenient for you.  This can be in person or over the phone.
  3. The documents will be prepared and sent to you to approve.
  4. You will need to arrange for a capacity assessment of the person who needs a deputy appointing
  5. Once all forms are signed, we will notify any relevant people of the intention to make the application
  • The application will be made and we will notify you of the outcome as soon as the court have made their decision.

Why choose Attwells Solicitors to make the application?

We can take you through the lengthy forms with ease and explain each section to you and provide advice specific to your circumstances, how the application needs to be made and if any further appointments are necessary depending on what needs to be done such as selling a property.

What are disbursements?

Disbursements are additional costs out of our control. These are set by external third parties such as government bodies or courts.

When do I pay?

Attwells Solicitors will ask you for a deposit, which will go towards your legal fees and any disbursements that may need to be incurred.  The balance of the fees and disbursements will be payable before the application is made.

Do you require a deposit?

Yes, we require 50% of our fee

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