What Is The Difference Between An Attorney And An Executor?
Posted on 20th March 2020
Quite often, our Solicitors in Longridge will receive new enquiries about obtaining Probate, whilst the person is still alive. Likewise, clients will often call their executors of their Will, their Attorneys, and vice-versa. Now, we’re not judging: it’s a common legal-terminology-mix-up and we would not expect our clients for Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney or Probate to know the difference.
What is an Attorney?
Well, in the context of our Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and Probate department, an Attorney is a person who is appointed (either solely, or with other people) to deal with your (also referred to as the “Donor’s”) financial affairs or Health and Welfare decisions during your lifetime, usually through an Ordinary Power of Attorney, an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) (if this was made before October 2007, when EPAs were replaced with LPAs) or an LPA.
When can Attorneys act?
If the Attorney is appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), the person is only able to apply to register the Donor’s EPA once they believe that the Donor is becoming, or has become, mentally incapable of handling their own affairs.
Under an Ordinary Power of Attorney, the Attorney(s) can act up until the point where the Donor has lost capacity, unless a specific date or time frame is stipulated in the document, at which point the Attorneys will no longer be able to act.
In terms of Lasting Powers of Attorney, the Donor can decide whether to allow their Attorney(s) to have the legal power to make Financial decisions prior to any loss of capacity, or just if they lose capacity. For Health and Welfare decisions, the document can only be used when the person has lost capacity.
How much do Lasting Powers of Attorney cost?
Our team of Solicitors in Longridge offer fixed-fees LPA drafting services: Our team’s legal fees are just £200.00 plus VAT for either Health & Welfare or Financial Decisions LPAs, or £375.00 plus VAT for both documents*. There will be a registration fee payable to the Office of the Public Guardian of up to £82.00 per document, unless you qualify for a fee remission or exemption.
What is an executor/executrix?
First things first – there is no difference between an executor or executrix, just that the former is the masculine version of the latter word.
An executor or executrix is the person that you appoint in your Will who can deal with your estate and affairs after you have passed away. This person has no legal authority to act on your behalf during your lifetime, just because they are named in your Will. To obtain this authority, they would need to be appointed as your Attorney (see LPAs above).
Who can be my executor/executrix?
Anyone (within reason, obviously). No, you can’t appoint your cat. No, your sofa cannot deal with your funeral wishes.
You can, however, appoint your friend, or a family member, or your local solicitors (that’s us – MG Legal) to act as your Attorneys. You could also appoint another legal professional, or a charity, however you would need to make arrangements directly with them and just provide us with their details.
How much does it cost to make a Will?
Our team offers another excellent fixed-fee service: Single Wills are just £110.00 plus VAT and mirror Wills are £195.00 plus VAT*.
If you want to set up a trust, or include a trust in your Wills, then the fees will be slightly more – but our team can discuss this with you during your initial appointment, quote you for any additional fees, and you can then make an informed decision about whether or not you wish to proceed with the trust.
How do I arrange an appointment to make Lasting Powers of Attorney or Wills?
Now the simple part: just email us, give us a call at your local office (Garstang: 01995 602 129, Lancaster: 01524 581 306, or Longridge: 01772 783 314), or fill out our online contact form. A member of our team of Solicitors in Longridge will be back in touch to arrange an initial appointment (either at your local office or a home visit) the same day. We can then discuss your requirements with you.
*Prices correct at time of posting.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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