Digital Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime. You can complete your own using the official government website, in turn enabling you to use it as a digital Lasting Power of Attorney.
While in theory, your attorney should be able to use the Lasting power of attorney online using a digital code, donors and attorneys across the country have found that it is not that easy in practice. As a report on money box live on BBC Radio 4 has highlighted BBC Radio 4 – Money Box, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Tax Returns many financial institutions still require a paper version of the lasting power of attorney. Many financial institutions still require a paper version of the Lasting Power of Attorney, meaning the donor has to sign each every page of the 20+ page Lasting Power of Attorney to certify it is a true copy of the original.
According to HMRC’s own figures, approximately 1,500 financial institutions in the UK are accepting digital Lasting Powers of Attorney. We at Ann McCabe Solicitors are not impressed by this number because it means very many financial institutions are not accepting digital Lasting Powers of Attorney. The digital Lasting Power of Attorney service is not yet fit for purpose.
No wonder many are wishing that they came to a solicitor in the first place to prepare and register the lasting power of attorney in the first place.
If by the time the attorney comes to use the Lasting Power of Attorney, the donor has lost capacity and cannot certify it themselves, the attorney has to pay a solicitor to certify the Lasting Power of Attorney as being a true copy of the original — a cost the donor was not expecting. We charge £24 including VAT to certify a paper copy of the Lasting Power of Attorney but the problem is that a solicitor cannot simply certify a print out of a Lasting Power of Attorney that is a digital copy only, as that solicitor did not deal with the original application.
If you don’t currently have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, what are the risks?
Have you considered what would happen to your home and savings if you became mentally or physically incapable of looking after your personal and financial affairs?
Not having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place could result in your loved ones having no say in your care and financial decisions. It may also result in an application being made in the Court of Protection to become your deputy which could cost around £1,500 and a delay of many months before your deputy can act for you.
By making a Lasting Power of Attorney, you appoint people you know, love and trust to make those important decisions for you if you are unable to yourself. You certainly have the right to decide who has control over your affairs.
If you instruct one of our Lasting Power of Attorney experts here at Ann McCabe Solicitors, you can be reassured that it will be completed and registered properly.
You will then have a document which will be accepted by all financial institutions.
Because our processes are streamlined and efficient, we are able to charge highly competitive fixed fees for Lasting Powers of Attorney whilst still providing a personal face-to-face service. We charge £360 including VAT for one Lasting Power of Attorney with big discounts if you want more than one at a time. For example, If you want the health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney at the same time as signing your financial Lasting Power of Attorney, we only charge an additional £60 including VAT. If you and your partner both want both types of lasting power of attorney at the same time (financial and health) we only charge £720 including VAT for all four lasting powers of attorney, the equivalent of a 50% discount.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
After working hard all your life, you certainly have the right to decide who has control over your affairs in case you lose your mental capacity due to illnesses, like strokes, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
The number of people with dementia in the UK is expected to grow over the next several decades, according to Alzheimer’s Research UK. Age is one of the most significant factors for mental illnesses, such as dementia.
Phone 01782 627589 for free initial advice
About the author
Adele Baskerville has specialised in Wills Probate Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection since she qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 2007.