GOVERNMENT LAUNCH POWER OF ATTORNEY REFUND SCHEME

This is in respect of fees paid to The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) for Lasting Power of Attorneys and Enduring Power of Attorney Applications between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017.

It is an online application which has to be made by the person who made the power of attorney or by the appointed attorney. However if the donor (the person who made the power of attorney) has died or does not have a UK bank account you MUST claim by phone instead. (Telephone 0300 456 0300 -choose option 6)

The refund will typically be £45-£54

Joint Bank Accounts and Power of Attorney

Guidance issued this year by the British Bankers' Association has made it common practice for high street banks to freeze withdrawals from a joint account if one of the accountholders is mentally incapable, until an attorney or deputy is appointed. It is yet another reason for people to have a power of attorney in place and registered ready for use.

Enduring Powers of Attorney

It is no longer possible to make an Enduring Power of Attorney but if and Enduring Power of Attorney has been made and the donor (the person who made the power of attorney) is becoming or has become mentally incapable of managing their affairs the Attorneys have a duty to register the original Enduring Power of Attorney at the Office of the Public Guardian.

We are able to advise attorneys about this and deal with all aspects of registration of the Enduring Power of Attorney.

Please telephone Aileen Francis at this office on (01424) 721234 if you require anymore information.

Court of Protection

If a person you care about has lost their capacity you may need to apply to the Court for an Order to be appointed as their ‘Deputy’ to manage their property and finances.

If it is desirable it is also possible for a solicitor to be appointed as Deputy to manage the affairs of someone who has lost capacity. The solicitors in this firm are able to act as Deputies if required.

We are also able to act on behalf of any proposed ‘Deputy’ to deal with all matters in connection with their making an Application to the Court for such an Order.

If you were appointed as a Deputy for property and finance your role would be to manage and use the money and assets of the person who has lost capacity in a way that is in their best interests. This is more than just paying their bills as it includes spending on activities or items that will improve the person’s quality of life.

It is also possible to be appointed Deputy for the personal welfare of a person who lacks capacity as well.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

We are specialists with regard to the preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney.

If you would like further information about making Lasting Powers of Attorneys please do not hesitate to contact us. Please telephone Aileen Francis who is a very experienced solicitors in these matters and a full member of STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) on (01424) 721234).

We prepare all types of Lasting Powers of Attorney.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:-

1. Lasting Power of Attorney-Property and Finances

This is a powerful legal document by which you give someone you trust power to make decisions about your property and finances and it is possible to appoint your solicitor as your Attorney.

Unless you include restrictions your Attorneys will have the same control you have over your money e.g collecting benefits and paying bills, savings e.g dealing with the bank, any investments e.g stocks and shares and property e.g selling your house.

The advantage of the Lasting Power of Attorney is that your Attorney’s powers will continue even if you become completely unable to manage your financial and property affairs.

2. Lasting Power of Attorney-Personal Welfare

This is a powerful legal document by which you give someone you trust power to make decisions about your personal welfare. E.g decisions about treatment, where you live, medication etc.

In the document it is possible to give your Attorneys power to make decisions with regard to life sustaining treatment if you wish. The advantage of the Lasting Power of Attorney-Personal Welfare is that your Attorney’s powers will continue even if you became completely unable to make decisions with regard to your personal welfare.

Certificate Provider
Someone must provide a Certificate confirming you understand the purpose of the Lasting Power of Attorney and the scope of the powers you are giving to your Attorneys and that you are not being forced to make the Lasting Power of Attorney.

A Certificate Provider is a person that you must select. A solicitor is able to act as a Certificate Provider when a Lasting Power of Attorney is made.

Registration
A Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and we are able to deal with all aspects of registration for you once the Lasting Power of Attorney has been made.

The Mental Capacity Act and its Code of Practice
The Act protects people who may not be able to make their own decisions e.g because of illness including dementia and stroke.

Your Attorneys must have regard to the Code of Practice which provides guidance on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 which makes it clear that the Attorneys must always act in your best interests. If evidence is presented to the Office of the Public Guardian that an Attorney is not acting in your best interests the Public Guardian will consider what, if any, action might need to be taken. We are able to advise you on The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its Code of Practice.

It is useful to make a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you have the capacity to do so. It may then be ‘kept’ until needed.

If someone lacks the capacity to make a Lasting Power of Attorney it is possible for someone to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed a Deputy to manage the affairs of the person who lacks capacity. Please see our page on Court of Protection about this.

Powers of Attorney

We provide expert advice on Enduring Powers of Attorney, Lasting Powers of Attorney or the appointment of a Deputy and Statutory Wills. Although it is no longer possible to make a new Enduring Power of Attorney, we are able to advise on existing Enduring Powers of Attorney and the need to register these if appropriate.

We prepare and register Lasting Powers of Attorney. These powers of attorney enable you to appoint people of your choice to manage your property and affairs or personal welfare. These powers have the advantage that once made they would continue even if you became incapable of managing your affairs or welfare.

In cases where a person has already become incapable of managing their affairs and has not made the appropriate power of attorney we are able to advise and make the application for the appointment of a Deputy to act on behalf of that person to manage their affairs.

If you would like an appointment for advice about any of these matters please telephone 01424 721234 and ask for Aileen Francis Solicitor TEP

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