A refund scheme has been launched by the government as more people apply to register these important peace of mind documents. The increase in uptake and a more efficient registration process has meant the registration service costs less to run, but there has been a time lag in reducing the registration fees.
For more details of the refund scheme for Powers of Attorney registered between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 please click here.
It is good news that more people are realising the importance of putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney. This means you choose who you would want to make important decisions for you in the event of an unexpected loss of capacity through illness or accident. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, one for property and financial affairs and the other for health and matters.
Most people choose to register their Lasting Powers of Attorney straight away so that they are activated and ready for use if and when ever needed (whereas the old style Enduring Powers of Attorney are registered only once the person who granted the power loses mental capacity and deal with only financial matters).
Although awareness is increasing, there are still many who don’t realise that even a spouse or partner cannot automatically access the finances of someone who has lost mental capacity and even joint accounts may be frozen and business affairs left in limbo. If no Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney is in place an order from the Court of Protection appointing a ‘deputy’ is usually needed. This can take several months and cost over £1,000 with additional costs and form filling every year afterwards.
An appropriately drawn up Power of Attorney can be an effective insurance policy against difficulties and delays but it is also a very powerful document which needs careful consideration. We take time to guide our clients through the process and choices they need to make, for real peace of mind.
If you would like any further information or advice please do not hesitate to contact Claire Johnson or Erica Thomson