MoneyMagpie

Mar 13

Stop thinking about a lasting power of attorney, set it up now

Some prudent people set up a lasting power of attorney (LPA) as early as their 50s. This enables offspring/friends to take over management of the person’s money should they not be able to do so themselves.

The sad departure of Terry Pratchett, author, aged 66 of Alztheimer’s disease, reminds us that apparently one in three over 65s have some form of dementia. So it makes sense to organise a LPA when you are relatively young –  when you are compos mentis and it won’t be awkward.

Also, it is bad news if you develop dementia having made no arrangements for your financial needs. Then your relations have to apply to The Court of Protection, in order to be able to take over your finances. This johnny-come-lately approach takes time and is expensive.lasting power of attorney

Many people when they decide to set up a POA for themselves go to a solicitor because its formal, the process actually gets done, and it could reduce ructions between family members.

If you go this route, do shop around rather than choosing the first solicitor you call – you could save hundreds of pounds.The other day my husband decided to sort LPA for us both. He walked down the street and was quoted £1,200 – “Plus VAT?” I asked. Plus VAT, he said.

This quote was no bargain and we will be shopping around to try and trim this, or we may even fill in the forms ourselves.

The form filling does not require  a solicitor, but there are quite a lot if them.  Help the Aged give advice on LPA.

Both parties, the person setting up a LPA and their relations have to agree to and sign the registration document. A third party, who has known the person in question for at least two years, has to sign the form to verify the person understands what the LPA means.

Once the LPA has been registered (which costs £110) with the Office of the Public Guardian, it can be used by adult children straight away, or it can be activated later.

Check out gov.uk for more information.

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