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New power of attorney guide

edited 21 December 2011 at 3:19PM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
629 replies 128.1K views
MSE_JennyMSE_Jenny Senior WriterMSE Staff
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MSE Staff
edited 21 December 2011 at 3:19PM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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Hi, we've written a new Power of Attorney guide to help people plan ahead, and we'd love your feedback.

If you've set up power of attorney, what are your practical tips? If you're already an attorney for someone else, what advice do you have for others? What else would you add?

Thanks for your help!

MSE Jenny
«13456763

Replies

  • edited 13 December 2011 at 6:53PM
    caveworkcavework Forumite
    2K posts
    edited 13 December 2011 at 6:53PM
    The COP insurance and any set up fees can be paid for from the 'donors' money not from the person who applies and is granted COP.
    Yearly insurance should be paid from the 'donors' finances , not covered by the representative.
    Hope this makes sense
    Responsibility for paying the fees

    The application and appeal fees are payable by the person making the application or appeal – however, the Court may decide that the applicant can recover the fee from the person it is about, or from someone else.
    The hearing fee is payable by the person making the application – but the court may decide the applicant can get the money back from the person the application is about, or from someone else. If the hearing relates to an appeal, it is payable by the person making the appeal.
    Copy of document fees are payable by whoever is requesting the copies.
  • edited 13 December 2011 at 7:39PM
    John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    edited 13 December 2011 at 7:39PM
    Here we go: What is COP insurance? [Ah I've remembered "Court of Protection" for those of us who don't speak acronym]

    I had the misfortune to need Lasting Power of Attorney in summer 2008 for a relative who seemed to have been struck down by a stroke.
    Well it was a new concept then - but what a bureaucratic shambles - cost £1,000's and the "stroke sufferer" had died two months later, while the bureaucrats were still raising footling and unintelligible queries about the 26 pages of forms and instructions that had been submitted by the "stroke sufferer's" solicitor.
    [I believe there have been improvements in the procedures since than BUT really every citizen in the country needs to do this NOW, if you leave it until you need it expect to get into a tangle.]

    Me? My late mum and I still have the old style "Enduring Power of Attorney" - cost £0.75 per person for the 4 page form. In the case of my mother, I bought it on the way to the hospital and had it counter signed by one of the nurses.

    I have to trust my nearest and dearest not to rob me blind, if/when I go "Deolali" [doo-laly], but I doubt that this new LPA will do much to prevent the fraudsters - if making new laws cured crime our prisons would be empty.
  • I think it's vital that any guide specifically addresses the limitations on what the attorney can do with the donor's money and that this is spelled out clearly so that it cannot be either mistakenly or deliberately misinterpreted.

    For instance, an attorney started forwarding cheques for £3,000 a time to family members saying that this was permitted under inland revenue rules before the end of a tax year. Bogus engagements were also considered as an excuse to give a large cash present. When I pointed out that only small 'gifts' ie £25 such as would be given on a birthday or for Christmas were allowed, I was told I didn't know what I was talking about. In the end I found the whole thing so disgusting that I went to see a solicitor who confirmed this rule about only small gifts was on the attorney forms. They had to retrieve all the money they had paid out and put it back into the donor's bank account.

    I feel that people will exploit the rules if they think they can get away with it and they need to know about this small gifts rule.
  • Trebor16Trebor16 Forumite
    3.1K posts
    I think the biggest problem people will have with powers of attorney is when they have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and they get involved. I firmly believe that most problems that attorneys and deputies will have is as a result of their interference.
    "You should know not to believe everything in media & polls by now !"


    John539 2-12-14 Post 15030
  • I now have LPA for Mum and COP for Dad. Dad had a sudden stroke that left him mentally incapaciitated.
    Until then my parents only had a will.
    We had never thought about the process you had to undertake when one elderly person is suddenly no longer in a position to make their own decisions about .. TBH anything , that is COP and then also having to look after the interests of the other elderly partner who still had full mental capacity .. the LPA..
    It is a long winded , costly affair with brick walls that are set up, even in simple straightforward situations, where the government departments responsible can make money .
    Insurance for what?
    Can anyone find me a claim that paid out for this insurance?
  • edited 14 December 2011 at 1:08AM
    John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    edited 14 December 2011 at 1:08AM
    I think it's vital that any guide specifically addresses the limitations on what the attorney can do with the donor's money and that this is spelled out clearly so that it cannot be either mistakenly or deliberately misinterpreted.

    For instance, an attorney started forwarding cheques for £3,000 a time to family members saying that this was permitted under inland revenue rules before the end of a tax year.

    Sounds like the attorney(ies) saw him/her/themselves trying to (ehm) "minimise" approaching Inheritance tax (IHT) rather than rob the donor.

    This rather demonstrates the problems of legislating to create "moral" behaviour. Compulsory auditing of accounts would be the effective way of identifying such legal "transgressions".

    My accounting was not made easy by some public employees refusing to give receipts. An organisation that handles cash without a cash register, will sooner or later create a case of fraud.
  • I SORTED OUT MY LASTING (ENDURING) POWER OF ATTORNEY FORM YEARS AGO, ENSURING THAT MY DAUGHTER COULD DEAL WITH MY AFFAIRS WHEN I LOSE THE PLOT. THERE WAS NO FEE INVOLVED, THE FORM WAS DULY SIGNED AND WITNESSED AND THE FORM IS FILED AWAY WITH MY WILL.

    WHAT I NEED TO KNOW IS WHETHER THIS STILL STANDS LEGALLY SINCE THE CHANGE OF FORMAT OF LPAs. CAN ANYBODY HELP?
  • How would other MSE'ers suggest going about having this discussion with my 77 year old mother? She can be as sharp as a tack but I worry about the implecations if she suffers a deterioration. After my Gran died and we experienced the problems accessing her accounts etc my mum made me a joint account holder for her banking accounts. She holds all the cheque books and cash cards but feels that this is a safety net if she passes away or becomes incapacitated because I will be able to access her accounts as joint signatory. Would this be sufficient or do you think we should get an LPA? We are in Scotland if that makes any difference.
  • Hi, I just thought Id add to the discussion by mentioning that though everyone is mentioning the financial power of attorney it can be even more important to have the health and welfare one for your relative .

    I was told just recently that without it though I was consulted by ' the team' as our social worker terms it, social services would have a say and a major one in where my mum would live. They consider her best interests. I agreed to mum going short term into a rest home and now am being blocked when I want to bring her home. I am making arrangements to accomodate her by giving up work and putting in a downstairs toilet and central heating at mums. We were able to get the POA signed but there is a 5 week waiting period for objections to be lodged , plus 3 weeks for registration. By then we will have paid out £7000 in care home fees as mum is self funding. I live in dread of someone objecting. So it is a good idea to do both health and welfare and financial power of attorneys at the same time
  • MSE_JennyMSE_Jenny Senior Writer MSE Staff
    1.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    MSE Staff
    I SORTED OUT MY LASTING (ENDURING) POWER OF ATTORNEY FORM YEARS AGO, ENSURING THAT MY DAUGHTER COULD DEAL WITH MY AFFAIRS WHEN I LOSE THE PLOT. THERE WAS NO FEE INVOLVED, THE FORM WAS DULY SIGNED AND WITNESSED AND THE FORM IS FILED AWAY WITH MY WILL.

    WHAT I NEED TO KNOW IS WHETHER THIS STILL STANDS LEGALLY SINCE THE CHANGE OF FORMAT OF LPAs. CAN ANYBODY HELP?

    Hi Moneysaversbandc

    An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) set up before 1 October 2007 will still be valid, whether or not it has been registered. They can be used before the person loses capacity, but must be registered when they lose capacity. Registration costs £130. For more info, see the Government's guide to EPAs.
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