Registering an enduring power of attorney

EP2PG-Form-Download

This article describes how you go about registering/activating an enduring power of attorney (EPA), allowing you (the ‘attorney’) to make decisions regarding someone else’s (the ‘donor’s’) assets and property, on their behalf.

To be clear, the enduring power of attorney has now been replaced by the lasting power of attorney as such, this article only deals with enduring powers of attorney made, and signed, before 1st October 2007.

 

Quick check!

Before registering the EPA, it’s worth double checking that the document is valid. Particularly if the individual still has capacity (some or all of the time) and there may be scope for correction.

  1. Is the document properly signed and witnessed by the donor, and signed by all the attorneys?
  2. Was the donor over 18 and did they have capacity when the EPA was made?
  3. Are all the attorneys over 18 and have they remained out of bankruptcy since the document was made?

If the answers to all of these is ‘yes’ then the document can be registered.

 

Registration

Registration of the document should take place either with permission of the donor or immediately on their losing capacity. You register an enduring power of attorney using two forms: EP1PG (used to notify interested parties of registration) and EP2PG (used to register the document with the authorities). Both are available from the www.gov.uk website.

 

Telling People

First you must complete, and send, form EP1PG to: the donor; 3 members (or groups of members) of the donor’s family (this must be done according to a specific hierarchy see below); any attorneys appointed in the document.

These parties then have 35 days to object to the registration.

With respect to notifying family members, 3 of the following ‘eligible groups of family members’ should receive form EP1PG. All members of each group should receive the form e.g. all children of the donor, and they must be over 18 and have capacity to ‘count’ towards the ‘3’.

The groups of family members are listed below in order of priority, and all efforts must be made to locate them. For clarity, the hierarchical approach means that supplying forms to e.g. siblings, does not remove the need to seek out spouses, children or parents of the donor. Only if no suitable member of any group senior in the hierarchy, can be identified, will a junior category ‘count’ towards notification of ‘3 eligible family members’

The order in which family members should be notified is as follows (relationships are with respect to the donor): spouse/civil partner; children (not step children); parents; siblings; widow(er)s of deceased children; grandchildren; nephews/nieces; aunts/uncles; first cousins.

Nb. if the need to identify ‘3 eligible family members’ cannot be satisfied, the office of the public guardian should be notified.

 

Application to register the form

Once the above notifications have taken place, form EP2PG should be downloaded from the www.gov.uk website, completed, attached to the original EPA document (or certified copy) and sent with payment (see below) to*:

Office of the Public Guardian

PO Box 16185

Birmingham

B2 2WH*

 

Payment, in the form of a cheque made out to ‘Office of the Public Guardian’ (write the donor’s name on the back of the cheque), for £82, should be included with the documents.

Assuming no objection, the registration process typically takes 8-10 weeks.

*if you are a member of the DX Exchange courier service send documents to : Office of the Public Guardian, DX 744240, Birmingham 79.

 

Confidence Wills are available to advise please feel free to get in touch – Contact Us

You can also download the EP2OG Download Here

 

How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

How Much Does a Funeral Cost.

Several factors contribute to the cost of a funeral. Figures may vary greatly, not only around procedural choices concerning, for example, burial or cremation, but by region.  Simple cremations,  may vary from 3 to 4 thousand pounds depending on location (25%), burials from 3.5 to 6.5 thousand (nearly 100%).

Significantly, funeral prices have risen sharply, with a 7% increase in the last 12 months outstripping even the housing market. Certain providers, such as Co-operative Funeral Care, are transparent in pricing and provide calculators, capable of producing detailed costings, capturing both funeral wishes and region.

What are these costs made up of?

The cost of a funeral might be split into: funeral director costs; ‘extras’ and third party fees.

Funeral director costs typically include:

  • Funeral arrangement e.g. organisation of service, clergy/crematorium liaison, documentation;
  • Care and preparation of the deceased;
  • Provision of hearse, coffin bearers and other transportation;
  • The coffin or casket itself.

Extras may also be attended to by the funeral director, on request and include: flowers, limousines, notifications in media etc.

Third party fees describe all that the funeral director does not provide, for example:

  • Church fees;
  • Cremation fees;
  • Burial fees;
  • Doctors’ fees;
  • Clerical or officiant fees;
  • Other personalisations e.g. music.

 

How to pay for funeral costs

Those arranging funerals for, ‘plan holders’ with, for example, Co-operative funeral care services, are able to liaise with their provider to assist in administration of funeral costs. Similarly, where Confidence Wills are supporting probate services, their providers can assist in settlements to be made from the estate of the deceased.

Notwithstanding, in all cases, certain costs must be paid up front (e.g. officiant fees, cremation fees etc.) whilst others, will be invoiced after the event. Typically these are payable by cash, credit card or cheque.

 

What if my budget is tight?

For those wishing to spend less, it is worth noting that government help might be available to assist with funeral costs. Where applicable a ‘Funeral Expense Payment’ claim form (SF200) can be downloaded from the government’s website (www.gov.uk). Co-op members are eligible for 5% discount on funeral fees from recognised establishments.

At the lower end of the scale, simple funerals may be obtained from Co-operative funeral care services for around £1,900. Direct cremation for £1,400 (excluding ceremony). Other providers may charge more.

 

If you’ve any questions on anything raised in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact Confidence Wills – Contact Us

 

 

National Will Register Certainty

National Will Register Certainty

Why register a will?

If the document cannot be located it may be assumed not to exist (except in certain circumstances and after legal process). This may occur where a testator has used a DIY service, or even taken the document from a safe place for home storage. In some cases, executors or family members may be unaware of its existence or fail to search for it. Interactions between family members are often sporadic and confounded by emotion at time of bereavement, so you should think about this in concrete terms now.

 

What can happen if my will isn’t registered?

Simply the document might not found, leading the enactment of the most recent document which can be!

Unfortunately this factor may lead to nefarious activities such as destruction of drafts by those benefiting from an earlier version of the document, or indeed failure to disclose existence. In such cases, distributions contradictory to your intent may occur or even intestacy (your being treated as though you never made a will at all!) Worse, extended and costly legal wrangling may take place. Why take the risk?

 

How do I register a will?

Confidence Wills works closely with the National Will Registry, and are happy to assist with management of the process – https://confidencewills.co.uk/#contacts

The National Will Registry, ensures location of your document. As part of the probate initiation, this database is routinely checked. Thus, a situation in which executors lack knowledge of a document and so cannot locate it, is avoided.

The process is not costly (a one off fee of around £30 at time of writing), so we strongly suggest that you do this as soon as your will is complete

What to do when someone dies?

What to do when someone dies

Such events can be overwhelming, below is a short summary of the steps you need to take in the immediate aftermath.

Obtain a ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’

This document is obtained by notifying a doctor who will certify death. A certificate will usually be issues rapidly, under certain circumstances, for example in case of a sudden death, a Coroner may need to be notified. In this instance a certificate may take longer to obtain.

Once a certificate is obtained, you should contact a funeral director. They will collect the deceased and take them into their care. If the death occurs in hospital your loved one will be taken into the on-site mortuary until registration of the death.

A few situations result in additional steps. Should death occur in a foreign country, the British Embassy should be contacted for registration. Repatriation can then take place, a Coroner should be notified on return to determine whether investigation is required. In the case of an unexpected hospital death, next of kin may be approached for permission to perform a post mortem examination, to establish cause of death.

Registering the death

Deaths must be registered within 5 days (in England) or 8 days (in Scotland). Registration is usually done by a relative of the deceased and is necessary before funeral arrangements can be progressed properly. This can be done via an embassy if death has occurred abroad.

To register death you should visit your local Registrar’s office (see: https://www.gov.uk/register-offices). You should take with you the ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’, it is also helpful to take the following if available:

  • Birth certificate
  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Marriage Certificate
  • NHS medical card
  • Proof of address

 

Funeral Director and Funeral Arrangements

Funeral directors can be found readily online. In the event that the deceased has made prior funeral arrangements, you can find their preference in this regard. The funeral director will collect the deceased and care for them in a funeral home, while arrangements for the funeral itself are made.

With respect to the funeral itself, considerations such as whether to bury or cremate and location of funeral are central. The deceased’s wishes may be set out in their will, whilst not binding, these should be respected.

The existence of a funeral plan should also be confirmed as these may save a great deal of money and organisational burden.