Avoid frozen assets
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Avoid lengthy court applications
After death you can predict what happens to your estate. Even if you don’t leave a will the law clearly dictates what happens to your worldly goods. However before we die many of us will become physically or mentally incapacitated at some time. It may be temporary or permanent and through illness, accident or aging.
A a result life may become complicated and without a Lasting Power of Attorney all assets may be frozen. This could include joint bank accounts. If this also includes a joint business account the affects can be even more complicated. Access may then only be possible through the slow and costly process of applying to the court of protectioin.
Your attorney acts in your interests
A Lasting Power of Attorney means that those you have selected can run your personal and business affairs run smoothly. If you become physically unable to manage your affairs a Lasting Power of Attorney enables your attorney to carry out your banking and other financial acts for you. Even with telephone and internet banking this can be useful.
People may also lose their mental capacity and this can be even more devastating. The lasting power of attorney can then also be used so a family can ensure that the individual can still benefit from their own assests. It can also mean their business stays alive.
Before a Lasting Power of Attorney can be used in any circumstances it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Do it yourself Lasting Power of Attorney
Some people can prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney themselves. The Public Guardian’s website explains it all and helps people do just that. Then the only cost is the £82 court registration fee (from 1 April 2017), so check it out.
However others want help with the process. I am happy to talk to you about whether a Lasting Power of Attorney is what you need and if it is to do the work for you
The old Enduring Power of Attorney
These powers of attorney covered much the same needs as the current Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”). They were simpler and so cheaper to provide. The last EPA’s were made in September 2007. Any Enduring Power of Attorney properly prepared, signed and dated before 1 October 2007 should still be effective. In those circumstance there is normally no need to create a new LPA. However if your appointed attorneys have died, or are no longer well, appropriate or willing to serve then you should consider an LPA. If you want to review your position just give me a call and we can talk it through.
Kevin Moon– Private Client Solicitor – Partner