What Is An LPA?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the donor) to nominate an individual or individuals (your attorney/s) to take care of your affairs in the event that you either no longer want to or are unable to manage your own affairs.
There are two types of LPAs: an LPA for Property and Financial Affairs and an LPA for Health and Welfare. LPAs are documents that can be prepared by any adult so long as he or she has the mental capacity to do so. Before the LPA can be used by your attorney or attorneys, it must be registered with the Court.
What Happens If I Do Not Make An LPA?
If a person loses mental capacity without having prepared an LPA, the Court of Protection will appoint a Deputy to make decisions for you.
What Is A Deputy?
A Deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of a person who lacks capacity to manage his or her own affairs.
What Is The Difference Between An Attorney And A Deputy?
The person making the LPA (the ‘donor’) chooses the attorney. In the case of Deputyship applications, this decision is made by the Court of Protection. A Deputy is normally a relative or friend of the person lacking capacity although sometimes it may be deemed in the person’s best interests to have a professional Deputy appointed by the Court.
The role of an attorney and the role of a Deputy are similar. They both have the responsibility of looking after a person’s affairs and acting in the person’s best interests. In normal circumstances, a person acting as an attorney under an LPA does not need to report to the Court or justify any routine financial decisions made. However, a Deputy will normally have to report to the Court annually with detailed information about income and expenditure for the previous year.
Costs and Procedure
The preparation of an LPA using a solicitor will normally cost in the region of £350-£500 depending on whether a person wishes to prepare one or both LPAs and also whether they wish to have them registered with the Court immediately. There is an additional Court fee of £110 for the registration of each LPA (unless an application for fee remission or exemption can be made). There is also the opportunity for a person to complete their own LPA without needing to instruct a solicitor.
If there is no LPA in place and a deputyship application is required, this can be made through a solicitor and would normally cost in the region of £850 plus VAT with an additional £100-£200 for a capacity assessment. A Court fee of £400 may also be payable. In addition to these fees, there is a requirement for a bond (similar to an insurance policy) to be put in place which has a variable associated cost depending on the amount of capital/assets that the individual has.
If a professional Deputy is appointed, the Deputy can charge annually for the work undertaken. Again these costs are variable depending on the complexity of the person’s affairs.
Wolferstans’ Court of Protection team are experienced in Court of Protection matters and can assist you in making a Deputyship application. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on 01752 663295.