Lasting Power of Attorney
In the past there was only one type of Attorney document available – an Enduring Power of Attorney and this covered everything that was needed. It did not need to be registered until the donor lacked capacity.
This was changed in May 2008 when the new Lasting Power of Attorney became available. This was split into two types of attorney document – covering Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare. This has since been revised further with the implementation of new forms and rules in July 2015.
About these two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
The first allows you to choose people to act on your behalf (as attorneys) and make decisions about your Property and Financial Affairs, before or only after you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
The second document allows you to choose people to act on your behalf (attorneys) and make decisions about your Health and Personal Welfare when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. This can include decisions about your healthcare and medical treatment, decisions about where to live and day-to-day decisions about your personal welfare such as diet, dress or daily routine.
We take great care in the completion of the forms required and ensure that all the sections have been completed, signed and witnessed correctly in readiness for registration when required. We will be pleased to take you through the process of setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney and registering it with the Office of the Public Guardian
If you are establishing a Lasting Power of Attorney for business purposes, or feel that you may require use of this document at a moment’s notice we recommend, avoiding any potential for business interruption, that registration should take place IMMEDIATELY, with the documents being securely stored by us until required. The Office of the Public Guardian take many weeks to complete registration.
If you choose more than one Attorney you must decide whether your Attorneys should act together or together and independently (i.e. they can all act together but they can also act separately if they wish). This is the default option that we normally recommend as it ensures that the power continues to be valid even in the event of the death or incapacity of one of the nominated attorneys.
You may appoint your Attorneys together in respect of some matters and together and independently in respect of others.
The Lasting Powers of Attorney document needs to be registered before it can be utilised.
As recommended, you may require your Lasting Powers to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) or alternatively stored for possible registration at a later date. If you wish to register now and are exempt from the full or part registration payment we will send you the appropriate claim form. In some circumstances one of you may be eligible for a partial registration fee or total exemption whilst the other is not.
Once your document has been completed and signed by all parties concerned we ask that you advise if you require your Lasting Powers to be registered now, incurring the additional cost of the OPG’s fee, or stored safely until required with registration taking place at a later date, if necessary. We recommend registration now to ensure that the document can be implemented at short notice should the need arise. The CJH Registration cost for us to register is currently £55 per document, plus the registration fee levied by the OPG, but if this is arranged NOW the registration fee due to us is waived or may be reduced to only £15 per document.
At the time of writing the current fee for registration of each Lasting Power of Attorney is now £82.00 with reductions if your income is below £12,000 p.a. and if registration is required you will be asked to make your cheque payable to the ‘Office of the Public Guardian’ when you return your final documents to us or to choose the option of providing the OPG with your debit or credit card details to facilitate payment. If registration is arranged in the future the cost may be higher. In some cases the registration fee may be reduced or waived as detailed below.
If your income is currently below £12,000 p.a. then you may be eligible to a reduction of this registration fee, currently 50% of the total fee payable. If you are claiming income related state benefits you may be exempt from payment. In either case, we will provide appropriate forms for you and enclose these with the final documents and completed registration forms at that time. If you are eligible for part exemption (called fee remission) it is always best to claim and register now as fee remission or fee exemption may not be available in the future.
No fee is payable if you receive any of the following benefits:-
Income Support; Income based Employment & Support Allowance; Income based Job-Seeker’s Allowance; State Pension Guarantee Credit element of State Pension Credit; A combination of Working Tax Credit and either Child Tax Credit, Disability Element or Severe Disability Element; Housing; Council Tax Benefit (not the 25% single person reduction, or exemption); Local housing allowance.
Evidence of any of the above must be supplied in the form of an official letter or entitlement notice from the appropriate benefit provider dated no more than 3 months old