Most of us have heard about the situation Kate Garraway found herself in after her husband was hospitalised with COVID-19. He was unable to manage his own affairs and she had no automatic right to take care of things for him. A lot of people assume that if you’re married, living together or have a joint bank account, you’ll be able to look after the finances or have the ultimate say in decisions on care and medical treatment. Instead, you could find yourself in a situation where the family bank account is frozen and you can’t pay the bills. You may find yourself left out of care decisions for your loved one by strangers. Without an LPA, you’ll need to apply for a deputyship order and that could be a whole load of hassle that you don’t need. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to get your LPA sorted now.
You’re never too young
If you’ve ever thought that a Lasting Power of Attorney is something you can forget about until you’re older, think again. Any of us could face serious illness or catastrophic injury at any age. If it prevents you from looking after your finances or making decisions about healthcare, someone else will need to do it for you. I had a colleague who was seriously injured after diving into a swimming pool on holiday. He was only in his twenties and his parents had to go through the additional stress of a deputyship application when they just wanted to look after their son.
Deputyship applications = red tape
Making an LPA is straightforward because you can make your own decisions. A deputyship application is only needed when you’ve already lost the ability to choose and it’s up to a court to decide whether you need someone to take over. Unsurprisingly, this involves a lot more paperwork and takes much longer. Most applications take 6-9 months, which is a long time if you can’t pay the mortgage. An LPA only needs one form. With a deputyship application there are four, including a capacity assessment where a professional examines you and prepares a report. Your deputy must also file annual reports to the Office of the Public Guardian, whereas an attorney doesn’t have to.
You won’t be in control
When you create an LPA, you choose the person who will make decisions for you so you can pick someone that you trust. With a deputyship application, this doesn’t apply. While your deputy will usually be a family member, it may not be the person you would have chosen. Whilst the court will always usually grant an order for someone to be a finance deputy, a major disadvantage is their reluctance to appoint a healthcare deputy. With an LPA you can choose people to look after your finances and make decisions about your care needs. With a deputy order, the people making decisions on your behalf could even be someone you haven’t met before.
You won’t be surprised to hear that all the extra form filling makes a deputyship application cost a lot more. A single LPA typically costs between £300 and £1,000 if it is professionally drafted with no ongoing fees. A deputyship carries an initial court fee of £385 and a £100 assessment fee for a new deputy. A legal services professional will usually charge between £850 and £1,500 per application. A capacity assessment costs anything from £250 up to a couple of thousand pounds. There are also ongoing fees of around £320 per year. What’s more, if your deputy needs to sell your house for you, they may need another court order and a new trustee appointed if the property is owned by two people, which means going through the whole application process again and paying another set of fees.
Do you need to create an LPA? Get in touch using the form below or call us on 0116 380 0752.
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