August 30, 2016“Our joint bank account has been frozen!”

Concerned man

We offer a free pack which provides further information on making a Lasting Power of Attorney – click here to get your copy.

At April King Legal, we advise that anyone over the age of 18 should have a Lasting Power of Attorney. Unfortunately, many people think they don’t need one – and the consequences of not having one when you need it can be absolutely devastating.

Q: What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document that specifies who should make decisions for you, should you lose mental capacity. There are two types – they are:

  • Finances and property
  • Health and welfare

You can choose one or more people to make decisions for each type.

Q: What does losing mental capacity mean?

It means that you can’t make decisions for yourself. The law says you can’t make a decision for yourself if you can’t:

  • understand the information relevant to the decision,
  • retain that information,
  • use or weigh that information as part of the process of making the decision, or
  • communicate their decision (whether by talking, using sign language or any other means).

Q: Surely only older people lose mental capacity?

It is a common misconception that losing mental capacity is a problem that only affects the elderly. Any of us could suffer an accident or injury at any time, affecting our ability to make decisions. An estimated 42,000 people under the age of 65 in the UK have dementia. In addition, one in four strokes in the UK happen in people under the age of 65. This is why we recommend a Lasting Power of Attorney for anyone aged 18 or older.

Q: We have a joint bank account – do we still need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Couples often assume that if they have a joint bank account and one of them loses mental capacity, the other will be able to access the funds in the account. This is simply not true. The bank account will often be frozen and you will not be able to access any of your money – even if it is needed for care fees or medical expenses. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, you will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. This is a lengthy process which takes at least 10 weeks, depending on how busy the Court is. There are also significant fees to pay, for the application, appointment of new deputies, ongoing supervision and legal fees.

If you yourself lose mental capacity and you don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney, someone else will have to apply for a Deputyship Order to handle your affairs. Bear in mind that this may not be who you would have chosen!

Making a Lasting Power of Attorney in advance is a much simpler and cheaper process!

Q: I already have Executors – can’t they handle my affairs?

No – again this is a common misconception. The people you have named in your Will as your Executors will only be able to manage your affairs when you die.

Q: Is it expensive to make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Some lawyers charge significant fees – up to £1,000 – but you’ll find April King’s fees to be very reasonable. We charge £240 + VAT for a Lasting Power of Attorney (Finance or Health) or for new clients who are also making a Will with us, £400 + VAT for both types of Lasting Power of Attorney (Finance & Health).

You’ll also have to pay the Court’s fees for registration – these are £110 to register each type of Lasting Power of Attorney, unless you’re on a low income and you get a reduction or exemption.

Keep in mind that the cost of making a Lasting Power of Attorney now is far cheaper (not to mention quicker and simpler) than having to apply for a Deputyship Order.

Get in touch

We have prepared a free, helpful information pack on making a Lasting Power of Attorney. Fill in your details below to receive your pack. You can also call us for your pack on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk.

Visit us

We have 19 offices across the Midlands and offer a free appointment without obligation. We can also cater for home visits. Just call us on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk to make an appointment with your nearest office.

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