By Charlotte Mandy
The Ministry of Justice has recently launched a scheme to refund those who may have paid more than they should for applying to register powers of attorney.
If you registered a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or Enduring Power of Attorney between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 you may be eligible for a refund. This can be claimed either by the person who made the power of attorney (called the "donor") or by the attorney. The amount refunded will vary depending on the date on which the document was registered. Further information and the form required to claim is available online at https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund or by calling the helpline on 0300 456 0300 (choosing option six).
LPAs, together with Wills, are a cornerstone of sensible planning for your future and well worth considering if you do not currently have them in place. LPAs are legal documents that enable a person to choose someone that they trust to make decisions and take action on their behalf now or in the future.
There are two types of LPA:
The first gives the attorney authority to make decisions relating to the donor’s property and financial matters, for example, paying bills, selling their property or investments and operating their bank accounts;
The second relates to the donor’s personal welfare and healthcare and matters such as medical treatment and where the donor should live.
If someone has become incapable of making their own decisions, and has not made a power of attorney, then it may be necessary for a relative or close friend to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy on their behalf. Applying to the Court of Protection is a lengthy and costly process and can be stressful for those involved. You would not have control over who applies to the court and this could mean that someone who you might not necessarily have chosen would be able to make decisions on your behalf.
At TWM we have a dedicated team of experts across our offices who specialise in advising on and preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney.
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