According to the Alzheimer’s Society, 225,000 people in the UK will develop dementia each year. This figure is increasing as people live longer: it has been estimated that 1 in 3 people born this decade will develop dementia. However, it is not just an age concern. Some 40,000 people under the age of 65 currently have dementia in the UK. The majority of whom made no provision to safe guard their future care or financial needs before developing the condition.
If left too late without first ensuring you have made (and registered) your chosen Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), those looking after you must go to court to get the authority to act on your behalf – a complex and time consuming process which is often stressful, and will not always be to your benefit. It can also be expensive. It currently costs £400 to register a Deputy, £500 for the hearing fee, approximately £1,000 in legal costs, and an annual supervision fee of £320. By creating the LPA whilst you have full mental capacity, you’re not only protecting your future, but you’re making life a lot simpler, cheaper and far less complicated for those closest to you.
Although there are a wide range of companies offering to draft an LPA for you, with free services also available, many LPAs fail to be accepted by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) due to poorly worded instructions and preferences, administrative errors and typos, or lack of adequate or appropriate witnesses. Alternatively, a poorly drafted LPA can be easily challenged by disgruntled family members. The choice of Attorney can also result in legal disputes, years later.
As most of the online LPA drafting companies do not employ legally trained operatives, they are able to charge far lower fees than those charged by solicitors. We have conducted a review of the most popular online LPA drafting services currently available and note the fees involved range from £48 to £150 inclusive of VAT, creating an average fee of £79 for a single LPA.
However, unlike here at the LPA Advice Company*, most online services, and certainly the cheaper ones, do not offer a LPA checking service within their fixed fee, which worryingly leaves the donor and their family at risk of having their LPA returned by the OPG in the future.
We at the LPA Advice Company would strongly recommend that, if you have already drafted your LPA or had this drafted for you, you ensure your LPA is checked by either a solicitor or an online checking service before the donor loses the mental capacity to rectify any errors or changes required. Our legally trained advisors would be happy to do this for you at a fraction of the cost of a high street solicitor. For further information, please contact us here.
*The LPA Advice Company charges a highly competitive, one-off fee of £69 for one LPA or £99 for two LPAs per donor, which is only payable when you are happy with your completed, tailored document. This fee includes any assistance and guidance you may require to enable us to draft your tailored LPA, and also advice regarding the registration process. There are no additional costs involved.