Can You Do a Power of Attorney Without a Solicitor?

Can You Do a Power of Attorney Without a Solicitor
  • Yes, but scope for error is significant. 22,000 Lasting Powers of Attorney were rejected in 2019
  • A will writer, who is a member of the Society of Will Writers may also offer support.
  • Some firms, including Confidence Wills, offer reduced price services for social reasons.
  • 75%-90% of those creating Lasting Powers of Attorney seek professional help.

 

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) can be made at any time and allow you to appoint somebody trusted, such as a family member, to make critical decisions for you, should you lose capacity to do so. With approximately one person per minute suffering from new stroke, head injury or dementia, diagnosis, in the UK, LPAs are more important than ever.

Recent government research indicates that nearly 75% of people believe that their ‘next of kin’ will be able to make decisions for them, should they lose mental capacity. This is not the case. If you make no power of attorney, you may be assigned a deputy by the courts, to perform this role. You and your family are likely to be required to pay fees relating to the appointment of such a deputy. Research by the Office of the Public Guardian, suggests these fees to be 1,200% greater (12x) than the costs of putting an LPA in place. This figure does not include ongoing supervision and bond fees charged by the authorities.

It is possible to apply for an LPA directly, without help from a professional, however, this route is not without risk. Research by the Office of the Public Guardian suggests around 75% of those submitting LPAs seek professional help in some form. Confidence Wills’ data indicates a figure nearer to 90%.

The reasons so many seek professional help are two-fold:

Firstly, the complexity and subtlety of the documents leaves much room for error. Last year alone more than 22,000 LPAs were rejected. By way of an example, instructing attorneys to provide support to loved ones, should they need it, may create a conflict with best interest rules and lead to your document’s rejection.

Secondly, the consequences of a rejected document may be great. Not only does resubmission cost a good deal of money (potentially hundreds of pounds), but an already lengthy application process is reset. A perfectly completed document, submitted to a perfectly efficient department, may take 10 weeks to process. In reality the process can take months. During the Covid 19 lock down, that period has proven longer still.

It is quite possible for one diagnosed with, for example, Alzheimer’s disease, to lose mental capacity before the process is complete, and miss their opportunity to register documents in the event of error.

We recommend seeking support when completing these documents. High street solicitor charges may fall in the range of £600-1,000 (inc VAT). Service is typically of good quality. Will writers who are members of professional bodies, offer a similarly good and potentially more cost effective solution in the £400-600 (inc VAT) range. We advise against using services which involve the completion of online questionnaires. In some cases, such documents may fail, even where completed well.

Confidence Wills offer a full one to one service, in person, at rates significantly lower than those set out above. We price check regularly to remain less expensive than other providers. This is a social, rather than a commercial decision, made further to our founders’ work in the field of dementia and brain trauma.

If you would like a conversation about creating a lasting power of attorney, without obligation, call now on : 0121 231 7010 or book a consultation

Lasting Power of Attorney Cost?

Lasting Power of Attorney Cost.
  • Registration of Lasting power of Attorney: £82 per document (total £164 for both);
  • 50-100%: reliefs available for registration fees;
  • Completion of each document (approx.): £175-300 (professional will writers); £400-700 (High street Solicitors);
  • Confidence Wills prices checks regularly to beat such prices;
  • >£100,000 & 12 months, potential costs arising from legal challenge in absence of LPA;

 

Having worked with dementia and neurological injury, the founders of Confidence Wills’ placed Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) at the heart of its mission statement. We aim to take the percentage of the population with registered Lasting Powers of Attorney from today’s figure of 1%, today, to 2%, by the end of 2021

To this end, Confidence Wills (overseen by the Society of Will Writers) price checks one to one services regularly and offers one to one Lasting Power of Attorney document completion services, from less than £150 per document (including VAT).

Our team of experts, make completion and registration of these (lengthy) documents, straightforward and provide expert advice at every stage. Call us now on 0121 231 7010 (or email on info@confidencewills.co.uk) for more information.

A loss of mental capacity is something most don’t want to talk about, however, the importance of these documents cannot be overstated. Without them in place, the sale of your home (to pay for care fees), the giving of consents for key medical treatments and the simple management of day to day activities, may be taken out of your hands.

What few realise is that completion and registration of the documents may take months. Accident and trauma notwithstanding, if one takes action even immediately after a neurodegenerative diagnosis, it is quite possible to lose mental capacity before registration of an LPA is complete.

We recommend seeking high quality advice when creating of these documents, it is very easy to complete applications for Lasting Powers of Attorney incorrectly, errors can lead to conflict, cost and delay at time sensitive points!

Our research has found fees for the creation of such documents, by qualified will writers, to be in the range of £175-£250 per document and £400-£700 per document, in the case of high street solicitors.

Registration of these documents unfortunately attracts further cost. The documents are invalid until so registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Many think such fees unhelpful given implications of caring for a loved one without such lasting powers of attorney. £82 per document is charged by the office of the Public Guardian for registration, thus for a pair of LPAs, a total of £164 is chargeable (nb. prices apply to England and Wales).

Reliefs are available for those on benefits, or low income, subject to completion of appropriate paperwork, with which we can assist.

If you would like to discuss any of the matters raised, please contact us now on 0121 231 7010 (or email on info@confidencewills.co.uk.