Have you signed a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) yet?
In our opinion everyone over the age of 18 with one or more trusted people in their lives should do so.
What does it do?
A new more demanding regime started on 1 October 2007 which allows the creation of a Legal document which potentially shares with a nominated trusted person or persons, known as Attorney or Attorneys, the power to act on your behalf in relation to your financial affairs and property.
Can it be used straight away and whilst I have full mental capacity?
Yes it can be very useful for example you may be posted abroad or in hospital for a while and during that time your attorneys, at your request, can sign for you at your bank or building society to pay bills and deal with your financial affairs. Once you have returned you can simply take full charge again. It will need to be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian [PGO] before it can be used and their fee paid (currently �130.00 per LPA).
What if I lose mental capacity and I can no longer deal with my financial affairs?
Your attorneys, following a simple procedure and informing the PGO, will be able to act for you for the rest of your life.
What if I have not signed one and I am no longer able to deal with my financial affairs?
Many people believe that a close family member can act but this is not true! Without an LPA there is NO-ONE legally in place and someone will have to apply to the Office of the Public Guardian in London to appoint themselves as Deputy. This is costly in money (potentially �1,200.00 or more), time (it can take 6 - 12 months to get a deputy appointed) and emotional stress and is best avoided if at all possible.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 has now come into force providing for Lasting Powers of Attorney. They have positive and negative sides. On the positive side it will be possible to appoint attorneys to act, not only in relation to property and affairs but also personal welfare (health, welfare and end of life decisions). On the negative side they can only be used if they are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian involving administration and a fee.
However it's better to have something in place just in case something unexpected happens to you preventing you from managing your affairs. It will give your next of kin immediate access to much needed financial support as opposed to the long wait of a deputy's order.
How much will it cost?
The new regime will have increased the cost because of its requirements. Your Forces Law solicitor will be happy to give you a fixed quote.
What should I do?
Do not wait! Get legal advice NOW from your Forces Law solicitor
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