When it comes to understanding the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA cost and creating one, we can all agree that it can be very confusing. But for many of us, there is a genuine possibility that we could be unable to make decisions on our own regarding medical treatment or our estate in the future. So it is vital to take the necessary measures while you are still fit – both mentally and physically.
This guide is designed to answer all your questions about a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA: from the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA cost to discussing what a POA is, how many types of POAs there are in the UK, who can help set up one for you, the costs associated with a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA, and more.
Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA Overview
As you get older, there may come a time when you are no longer able to make healthcare or financial decisions for yourself. In preparation for this, you can choose to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA arrangement where a trusted family member or friend takes on the responsibility of making important decisions on your behalf.
In simple terms, when you set up a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA, the person to whom you have given authority will make all the decisions regarding your healthcare and finances.
How does the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA work?
If you are at least 18 years old and have the mental and physical ability to make medical, property, and financial decisions for yourself, you can arrange for someone to make these decisions for you in future. You will be known as the “Donor,” and the person who is given the POA is called the “Attorney.” In the UK, you can appoint one or more attorneys based on your requirements and situation. If you appoint more than one attorney, they will be called your joint attorneys. You can give them the power to act:
- Jointly and Severally – where they can make the individual as well as joint decisions depending on the situation.
- Jointly – where all attorneys must agree to the decision to be made.
To illustrate, suppose you are admitted to the hospital when a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA is in effect, and your doctor says you need immediate surgery. If any of your attorneys decline the surgery, then the surgery will not take place. This is in the case of acting “Jointly.”
On the other hand, if you have given your attorneys the power to act “Jointly and Severally,” when considering the same scenario where you need surgery if any one of the attorneys is present with you and he/she allows the surgery to continue, the remaining attorneys who are not present there will have to respect that decision.
As the Donor, you can decide how all decisions regarding your health and financial matters will be made in the future. You have many options available to choose from: for example, you can decide whether the attorneys must act together on all your affairs, or you can appoint attorneys to cooperate when making decisions regarding your health, but state that only one attorney can decide about your finances. A licensed professional can provide guidance on options that work best for your particular situation.
The different types of Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA
There are two different types of Powers of Attorney in the United Kingdom. These are:
- Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA Health and Welfare
- Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA Property and Financial Affairs
As you see fit, you can choose to appoint either both health and financial affairs POA, or just one.
The Scope of Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA
The scope of POA entirely depends on your wishes. You can include restrictions to your Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA document for specific decisions. For instance, you can withhold permission to make specific financial or banking decisions. The coverage of services of Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA is vast, and depending on your situation, you may need to appoint more than one attorney to take care of your needs.
It should also be noted that the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA must be a person. You cannot designate a trust or an organisation as your POA. Most importantly, the attorney in charge is bound to make decisions that are in your best interest. Every decision your attorney makes should benefit you, even if it does not benefit them. There are hefty penalties for those who abuse the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA. You are free to register a complaint with the Office of the Public Guardian if you feel like your attorneys are abusing the privilege.
The Average Cost of Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA
A Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA is an essential legal document that is often discussed with family members. Its costs can be split into two parts. First, the lasting Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA forms cost around £82 per POA. Secondly, there are solicitors charges for Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA as well. If you use a solicitor for creating your POA, the average cost is around £400. On the other hand, if you use a POA specialist, it may cost you between £250 and £1000. The price will increase depending on the experience and credibility of the professional you hire for creating a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA. So, on average, the lasting Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA cost ranges from £500 to £700. In the next section, we will have a complete breakdown of the lasting Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA cost.
What are the costs included in a POA?
There are numerous entities involved that determine the lasting Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA fees. They are:
The Office of the Public Guardian can provide you with an enduring Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA form. There are no charges for POA preparation as it is included in the application fee, but fees are non-refundable even if the POA isn’t registered. The fees will be paid on behalf of the donor or by the donor. If you are making both types of POA (financial and healthcare), you will have to pay two fees. You may have to pay £35 for the office copy, which is a certified copy of your original document. Based on your financial circumstances, the fees may be reduced up to 50%. On the other hand, if you are receiving universal credit, the cost may be reduced by the OPG.
The POA application fee is £82. This is the cost of the single form for a specific type of Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA. As discussed earlier, if you are making both the types of POA (financial and healthcare), you will have to pay two fees. In this case, you will have to pay £164. If you request a repeat application or need to make amendments, you will have to pay the lasting Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA fees again. However, this time, the OPG will reduce the cost by 50%; that is, £41.
While you can create a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA on your own, it is best to seek professional help. Errors in the document can have significant implications for both you and your loved ones. If you decide to work with a legal specialist, there will be solicitors charges for Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA. The price for creating a POA will increase when you use a legal professional. The cost starts at £400 and can go up to £1000 or above, depending on the complexity of your requirements. We recommend confirming the solicitor’s fees before you make some serious conversations. An experienced solicitor can prove to be a great asset in creating a comprehensive Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA by ensuring that there is no ambiguity in the document created. The majority of donors in the UK prefer working with a solicitor when creating a POA. They say that it is crucial at the time when the POA is actioned.
The attorney you are appointing will not take any fee for the power you are vesting in him/her, as it is usual for an attorney to be someone from your family or close circle of trusted friends. But prior to appointing an individual as an attorney, you should discuss your intentions with them and obtain their consent; it is also important to determine whether he/she is willing and able to take responsibility.
Apart from solicitors, you can also choose to hire a company that specialises in creating POA. Unlike solicitors, these professionals have a different fee structure. On average, the will and Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA cost they charge start from £250 and can go as high as £1000, depending on the complexity of the requirements. Alternatively, you can also book an appointment with a Co-Op POA specialist. Your needs will be catered under the legal services, and the fees will be about £250.
In addition to the costs mentioned above, you may have to pay an additional £90 in VAT for creating a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA in the United Kingdom. But if your income is less than £12,000, you may be eligible for a 50% reduction in the will and Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA cost. Net annual income is income before tax, and this typically is derived from employment, rent of a property, interest from savings and investments, Pensions Savings Credit, pensions, and non-means-tested benefits like Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, or Attendance Allowance. The Office of the Public Guardian can provide further information to help you determine whether you are eligible for this benefit.
Revoking an enduring Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA form
A lasting Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA can be “revoked” or cancelled at any time by the donor. But it is important to remember that a POA may only be revoked when the donor still has the mental capacity to do so. There are no charges for cancelling an enduring Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA form, but any fees you have already paid will not be refunded to you.
To cancel your Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA form in the UK, you will need a Deed of Revocation form. This form must be signed by the donor, and the attorney must be informed about the same. The attorney’s authority will not cease until they receive the notice of the cancellation stating that their power to act has been revoked. To confirm that the power to act has been cancelled, you should request for the attorney(s) to return the POA to you as acknowledgement. Finally, you need to send a copy of your Deed of Revocation form to the Office of the Public Guardian to remove the POA from the register.
Tips to Lower the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA Cost
The cost of Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA form in the UK is fixed throughout the country, but there are several other ways to reduce your overall costs associated with creating a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA in the United Kingdom:
#1 Get Invoice:
Engaging the services of a legal professional such as a solicitor is a worthwhile expense because they will manage all of the necessary steps, including fetching the lasting Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA forms from the OPG to making other arrangements. This is best because you don’t have to do anything as the solicitor will take care of the requirements.
#2 Shop Around:
The best way to lower the overall cost of a POA is to shop around and compare prices. There are many services providers, dedicated agencies, and independent professionals who are equipped to provide you with dedicated services. All you have to do is shop around and select the provider that fits within your budget. But be wary of choosing the cheapest option: there are many complexities in the POA contract, so you must select a reputable service provider to avoid any issues or complications because of unprofessional or inexperienced work.
#3 Bundle up Requests for Legal Help:
When seeking legal advice from a solicitor regarding the creation of a POA, you may also want to discuss other pertinent legal matters. Since you have already decided to create a POA, it may also be an excellent time to think about drafting a will, as well. By bundling up your requests for legal help, a legal professional may be able to reduce the overall cost of the services provided.
Why do you need a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA?
It is important to file a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA when you are still able and in possession of a healthy mind and body. You can only file for a POA when your mental ability isn’t compromised due to age, illness, or any physical trauma. So if you are planning to create a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA, it is best to do it without delay, when you have a stable mind.
Unexpected events can result in your inability to make important decisions regarding your finances or mental health. If you are considering filing a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA, My Estate Planning can provide you with a wide array of options to make the process simple and easy. The costs associated with creating a POA should not deter you from availing of this important service; in fact, you will likely find that the cost may vary depending on the solicitor, and reputable service providers can help you draft an effective POA within your budget. You can be assured that My Estate Planning is the right place for you to find excellent service at a reasonable price.
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