Despite the change from Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) to Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) being introduced just over 4 years ago it seems that there is less take up of LPAs which may be due to cost, and delays at Court.
As a firm of Financial Planners specialising in at-retirement advice, we believe that avoiding the cost now, can create more serious problems for vulnerable clients in the future should they lose their mental or physical capacity. Whilst the support of the family is welcomed and often taken for granted, the practicalities may be different:
Any individual losing mental capacity without an EPA or LPA will have to rely on a deputyship order, which allows an appropriate person to be appointed to look after their financial affairs or relevant health and welfare decisions.
There are significant issues that arise from this:
- On average an application takes between six and twelve months.
- The cost of obtaining a deputyship order can often be many times that of an LPA, with significant ongoing costs
- The person (donor) does not get to choose who is going to be their deputy
- A deputyship application is less flexible than an LPA. Our experience is, the Court of Protection (CoP) does not like awarding health and welfare deputies who can be appointed under the LPA
- Statistics show, that the CoP wishes to deal with health and welfare issues on a decision-by-decision basis. Therefore a new application for each decision is required, which is not practical for the client’s family and is likely to cost a lot of money
At Wingate we introduce our clients to independent legal professionals and can liaise with all parties to ensure that our clients anticipated future needs are catered for. Acting and planning early in the correct way means that our clients wishes are more likely to be facilitated, if required, by the attorneys that they appoint in a timely manner.