I had the pleasure of attending the annual Institute of Professional Willwriters conference in March and listened to several industry experts, including senior lawyer Mary MacGregor, from the Office of the Public Guardian.
The OPG claim that they are currently receiving around 3000 applications to register Lasting Power of Attorney documents every single day, which as you can imagine is causing some significant delays. However, I think that, excepting the delays, this news is a good thing, it shows that more of us are realising the importance of getting our affairs in order while we still can. It also highlights the importance of registering your LPA documents at the point you have them drafted. The documents can’t be used until they have been successfully registered. If for example, you haven’t registered your LPAs and lose capacity it could essentially be months until your chosen attorneys can step in and act for you. Worst case scenario if there is a mistake on the forms and you’ve lost capacity it’s too late to change anything, whereas if you register them when you make them there is time to amend them.
Another speaker who I had the pleasure of listening to at the AGM was Stephen Mayson, Honorary Professor of Law from the University College of London, who is currently reviewing regulation within the legal sector. Interestingly, Stephen said that he and his wife had very recently rewritten their Wills and they chose not to use a solicitor to do this for them. They instead used a Will writer as, in his opinion, it was better to use someone who did the job day in and day out and would therefore be an expert in the area. His valued opinion ties in with one of my very early pieces which was about unregulated Will writers, solicitors and Institute of Professional Willwriters members, which I’m aware may have ruffled a few feathers but I was pleased to have my opinion on the profession substantiated by someone at the top of their game!
We have a couple of bits of exciting news here at Nsure Estate Planning Services. The first is that Director Tony Cohen has been appointed the Institute of Professional Willwriters Southern coordinator. Tony is known for raising standards wherever he goes, so we hope to see membership of the IPW grow in the South, which will in turn give people more and better options when estate planning.
The second is a date for your diaries. We are holding another seminar on Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and funding later life care. The event is being held at our premises in our conference suite at 6pm on 19th June. Booking is essential so to book your place or find out more please call 01903 821010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.