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At Austin Kemp, we’re here to help. Find out more about the divorce process, and other key information with our vast resource section.
Our industry-first Divorce Report combines numerous data sources and internal research, to bring you this specialist report.
Our expert divorce lawyers have listed questions which are commonly asked by our clients, to which we have provided an answer.
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How Much Does a Lasting Power of Attorney Cost?
Prices start from £225 +VAT (£270) for a Lasting Power of Attorney.
A Mirror Lasting Power of Attorney costs from £375 +VAT (£450).
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which enables you to appoint other people to make decisions for you, if you become ill or have an accident and are unable to make decisions yourself. These people are known as “Attorneys”.
In England and Wales, there are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: health & welfare and property & financial affairs.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is separate from your Will. Often, people will choose to have a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney drawn up at the same time.
Why is a Lasting Power of Attorney So Important?
There is no automatic legal right to be able to deal with your spouse’s affairs (or for them to deal with yours).
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney provides you with peace of mind that, if you are unable to deal with your affairs due to, for example, illness or an accident, you have appointed a trusted friend or family member to take care of everything.
A Lasting Power of Attorney does not ‘run out’ or expire on a certain date.
As well as binding instructions for your Attorney to follow, you can also include preferences for your Attorney to refer to. In addition to administering your property and finances, you can give your Attorney power to deal with your health and welfare.
It is only possible to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney when you have what is known as ‘mental capacity’ (when are still able to make decisions for yourself), so it’s a good idea to make a Lasting Power of Attorney as early on as possible.
Mirror Lasting Power of Attorneys are often the preferred choice for couples, as these legal documents enable them to appoint the other party as the Attorney to make decisions should the worst happen.
What Happens Without a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If there is no Lasting Power of Attorney, no-one else is able to deal with your affairs if you are no longer able to do it yourself. Others will not be able to, for example, gain access to your bank accounts or sell your property.
It’s a common assumption that the next of kin should be able to take over with or without Lasting Power of Attorney but sadly, if you do not have the Lasting Power of Attorney in place, they will be left with no legal right to do so.
In order to attempt to gain the legal right to deal with your affairs without the Lasting Power of Attorney, they would need to apply to the Courts. It is then for the Court to decide who will be the “Deputy” i.e. the person who will manage your affairs. This can be a time-consuming, costly and extremely stressful process.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is the ideal way to ensure that your loved ones will have the legal right to manage your affairs, without the stress and cost of going to court.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney Explained
In England and Wales, there are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney available:
Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
The Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney provides your chosen Attorney with the ability to deal with your property and money. This includes everything from paying your bills to selling your house. This Lasting Power of Attorney can be used for a wide range of reasons, such as if you move away from the UK.
Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
This type of Lasting Power of Attorney enables your Attorney to make decisions about everything from your medical treatments, to whether you move into a care home. It is different to the Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney, in that it can only be utilised if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
LPAs for Sole Traders & SME Business Owners
As a sole trader or the owner of a small business, you are often the driving force behind the business. Have you ever thought about what would happen if you were unable to manage your own business affairs?
When your business bank account is in your own name, or in joint names with your fellow business owners, there could be serious problems further down the line if you are unable to make decisions following an illness or accident and do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney. In the worst case scenario, you could even risk losing your business.
A Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to appoint someone to deal with your business affairs should you be unable to make decisions in the future.
Prices start from £225 + VAT (£270).
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)
You have to register your Lasting Power of Attorney with the government. You should do this with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This normally takes between 8 and 10 weeks and costs £82. If you require both the Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorneys, this will come to £164.
You may be exempt from this fee if you receive certain benefits. If you’re earning under £12,000, it’s possible to apply for the fee to be reduced.
Our fixed-price fee does not include these registration costs.
Benefits of Writing a Lasting Power of Attorney with Austin Kemp
*Registration fees (£82 per Lasting Power of Attorney) are not included in our fixed-price fee.
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