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GN Law Media: LPAs for all ...?

Alan Eccles, who took over as the Public Guardian in April 2012, wants all adults in England to draw up an LPA. Why …?

The answer is simple; setting up an LPA before you lose capacity (for instance to control your own finances) makes solving the problem of loss of capacity far quicker, simpler and cheaper. It saves court time and resources. Also, it allows the person who has lost capacity to carefully consider, in advance, how their attorney should exercise their powers in the future. Indeed, the attorney’s powers can be specifically restricted (for instance, not being able to sell the individual's residence). Without an LPA, a deputy will have to be appointed via the Court of Protection. A deputies powers are not normally restricted and, if they are a professional, they will charge for their time …every year.

Look at the difference in set up costs –

...............................LPA ................................Deputy.............................

OPG Fees                    £130 to register                       £400 application fee

Lawyers costs             £500 + VAT*                          £850 + VAT*

Total                            £730                                        £1,420

...........................................................................................................

Of course, you can obtain both without the help of a lawyer but, even then, deputies are subject to regulation by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) which adds to the yearly cost of the administration. Most attorneys under an LPA will be a family member who will perform the role at no charge at all.

The number of LPAs registered each year is rising (225,000 estimated for April 2012 – March 2013). It clearly makes sense to have an LPA, not just to save money should you lose capacity, but also to ensure that you maintain some control over who administers your finances (or takes decisions on your welfare) rather than having a court decide for you.

Andrew Guile

Solicitor/Director

* The above costs are our standard charges as at the date of writing this article.

Posted on Tuesday, 11th December 2012