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Powers of Attorney.
Our local solicitors for Lasting Powers of Attorney cannot stress often enough to our clients how important Lasting Powers of Attorney (often called Powers of Attorney) are to get in place before it’s too late: we advise all of our Will clients about making the documents and we ensure that many of our blogs discuss the topic too. 
 
Recently TV presenter Kate Garraway’s personal circumstances have highlighted the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney, following the hospitalisation of her husband, Derek Draper, after he fell ill with COVID-19. 

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First of all, in case you are not already aware of what Lasting Powers of Attorney are, our expert team of local solicitors for Lasting Powers of Attorney have answered some FAQs: 

#1 What is a Lasting Power of Attorney? 

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows a person, known as the ‘Donor’, to give at least one other person, known as an ‘Attorney’, the legal authority to make decisions on their behalf, if they lack, or start to lack capacity. In addition, in respect of financial decisions, the document can be used by the Donor (once registered) to authorise the Attorney or Attorneys to make decisions or carry out acts at the Donor’s direction. 
 
In England and Wales, there are two types of LPA: 

1. Property & Finances 

this document can allow the Attorney(s) to manage the Donor’s bank accounts, pay their bills, deal with their benefits, pensions or other sources of income, or deal with their property. This can be used, at the Donor’s direction, as soon as it is registered. If the Donor has lost capacity, the Attorney(s) can make decisions as if they were the Donor. 

2. Health & Welfare 

this document can allow the Attorney(s) to make decisions about things such as the Donor’s daily routine, medical care, care home and living circumstances and life-sustaining treatment (with permission). This LPA document can only be used if the Donor loses capacity. 
To make and register an LPA, the Donor must be over the age of 18 and they must have mental capacity (generally viewed as the mental ability to understand and make your own decisions). 

#2 How many people have a Lasting Power of Attorney? 

According to the Office of the Public Guardian’s blog in July 2020, there are over 4 million Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) documents registered in England and Wales. This figure may seem like a lot, however, there are currently an estimated 66.4 million people in the UK; 4 million does not seem like that many now, does it? Especially when there are two types of LPA, so the number of registered LPA documents could theoretically mean that only 2 million people have made and registered the documents. 
 
The important point to note is that LPAs came into effect in 2007, so prior to this date, people could make a document called an Enduring Power of Attorney for financial decisions, which would only be registered if a person started to lose capacity and therefore some people may have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place that their Attorney has not yet needed to register. 

#3 What happens if you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney? 

Sadly, if a person unexpectedly loses capacity, it can often cause a significant emotional burden for their loved ones. On top of that, if their loved one does not have legal authority to deal with their health or financial decisions, the stress can increase even more. 
 
In order to make decisions, even for assets owned by two people jointly or joint bank accounts for example, a person will likely need to make an application to the Court to be appointed as a Deputy. This process can take a long time, significantly longer than the process of making and registering Lasting Powers of Attorney, and also generally costs significantly more. 

#4 How much do Lasting Powers of Attorney cost to make? 

Well, our expert team of local solicitors for Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) aim to make the process of making and registering LPAs affordable, and therefore offer fixed fee legal costs for the process. Our team’s legal fees are £400 plus VAT for both LPAs to be made, signed and submitted to be registered. 
 
The Office of the Public Guardian charge a fee to register the LPAs of up to £82 per document: you may qualify for a fee reduction or full exemption, depending on your personal financial circumstances. You can find the form about a fee reduction or exemption, here
 
If you would like a Lasting Power of Attorney, our fees are highly competitive and our team of solicitors near you, are LPA experts. You can contact them to get to know them and ask any questions you have about Lasting Powers of Attorney, here

#5 Why would I need a Lasting Power of Attorney? I’m not ‘old’. 

This is a common misconception that our local solicitors for Lasting Powers of Attorney hear all too often. As we tell our clients, it’s never too soon to start thinking about putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place and getting your affairs in order. 
 
A recent well-publicised case where the difficulties that can arise from not having the right legal documents in place has been highlighted is that of Kate Garraway and Derek Draper. Sadly, Derek was taken into hospital and is now suffering from long term health effects due to COVID-19. Kate has since spoken out about the difficulties she has faced is the fact that many of their jointly-used assets were held in her husband’s name, such as their car and insurance, and many of their bank accounts. This meant that, despite being married, Kate had no legal authority to discuss any of the accounts or policies. This is another common misconception: just because you are married, in a civil partnership or live with your partner, you do not automatically have legal authority to manage their affairs if they are unable to. 

How can I make Lasting Powers of Attorney? 

Our solicitors near you are here to help. Contact us with your name and contact number via email to enquiries@mglegal.co.uk and one of our expert team members from our local solicitors for Lasting Powers of Attorney will give you a call to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney and your options in making these. Alternatively, fill out our contact us form, above. 

Why choose MG Legal Solicitors? 

As your expert local solicitors for Lasting Powers of Attorney, our team has years of experience in preparing and registering Lasting Power of Attorney document. Our team understand that people require different levels of assistance with the documents, and are on hand to provide as much explanation and guidance as you require to ensure that you can successfully complete and register the documents. 
 
So, don’t delay; contact our expert team online today to get your affairs in order. 
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