Over recent months we have seen a sharp rise in the number of people contacting us to arrange their Lasting Power of Attorney for both Property and Finance and Health and Welfare. The current Covid-19 situation, coupled with the public’s increasing awareness that around one in four of us are going to lose capacity at some point, has clearly seen people wise up to the importance of these documents.
When instructing a professional the process should feel straightforward to the client. What the client doesn’t see is the work that goes on behind the scenes. At present the Office of the Public Guardian are receiving thousands of applications every day and whilst the situation is improving, there are still considerable delays. The documents are unusable until they have been registered, which is why it is important to get yours arranged and sent for registration sooner rather than later. Once it has been submitted and is formally in the queue to be assigned a case worker, it can then take several months for the documents to be returned, ready to be used.
Lasting Power of Attorney is a key part of later life planning, many people arrange theirs along with making or updating their Will or taking out their funeral plan.
By having your Lasting Power of Attorney documents in place, you can avoid being one of the people whose family are unable to make critical decisions, such as which care home you go to and how to pay for it or decide with doctors, whether or not to continue with life sustaining treatment. The Property and Finance document can be used if you haven’t lost capacity, which has been invaluable to many who have been shielding during lock down.
Should you come to require, but not have, a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, the alternative is an application to the Court of Protection which costs hundreds of pounds more – sometimes even thousands depending on the provider, and involves an annual supervision fee of £320 on top of the £100 assessment fee.
If you haven’t arranged Lasting Power of Attorney and would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Virtual appointments as well as socially distanced home or office based appointments can be booked via email email@example.com or on 01903 821010.