Legal Experts Welcome Government’s Cut To Application Costs
By Rob Dixon
The Government’s decision to reduce the application fee for the registration of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a positive step which shows how ministers are keen to encourage the use of such tools, according to a specialist lawyer.
From October 1st 2013, the fees for both LPAs and the older enduring powers of attorney, which allow applicants to appoint friends, relatives or professionals to make decisions about their welfare and financial affairs, will both be reduced by £20 to £110.
According to the Ministry of Justice, the reduction is possible following changes to the management of the schemes including the introduction of new technology and improving the efficiency of processes.
Irwin Mitchell’s specialist private client lawyers have vast expertise in providing advice on a range of issues related to planning for the future and financial affairs, including advice on the drafting of wills and the use of LPAs.
Gillian Coverley, a Partner in Irwin Mitchell’s Private Client team who advices on issues surrounding LPAs, said: “This announcement, twinned with the continuing awareness amongst the general public, shows just how important a LPA is and the growing awareness of the benefits it can offer.
“It also demonstrates how this is taken very seriously by the Government, with ministers wanting to encourage it further. Accessibility is key to ensuring that people are fully prepared if they should lose the capacity to make decisions on their own finances and welfare in the future.”
Gillian added: “For the uninitiated, a LPA allows a person to select someone who they want to deal with their affairs during their lifetime, in the event of the onset of a condition such as dementia which sees them lose the ability to make such decisions themselves.
“The importance of this cannot be underestimated, as we have seen numerous cases when families have required access to the finances of a loved one to support them but have not been able to get it because of the lack of a LPA.
“We would urge all families to consider the benefits of an LPA and seek specialist legal advice on the best approach to organising and drafting an application.”
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Powers of Attorney