How much does a Lasting Power of Attorney cost?
It costs £82 to register a Lasting Power of Attorney in England and Wales (£77 in Scotland and £127 in Northern Ireland). If you can show you earn less than £12,000 a year you can get it for £41. And if you’re on some benefits, it costs nothing. You can apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney yourself, or use a solicitor or an online service like us.
What’s a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If old age, an accident or illness mean you can’t make decisions anymore, you’ll need help managing your finances and your medical care. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document where you nominate a friend or relative to handle these decisions if you can’t do it anymore. In legal-speak it’s called losing ‘mental capacity’. The person you choose to look after your affairs is the ‘attorney’.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney – one for Property and Finance, and another for Health and Welfare (where you choose someone to make decisions about your day-to-day healthcare and medical treatment). They both cost £82. The applications are similar, but completely separate. So if you give someone control over your financial affairs, they won’t also get control of your healthcare, and vice versa. If you want the same person to have both, you’ll need to fill out two forms.
The other difference is that a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney only comes into effect if you don’t have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. With a Property and Finance Power of Attorney, someone else can take over if you get ill, or have trouble getting about, or even if you’re just out of the country. But you can make it so they only come into effect if you lose mental capacity.
How do I apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Anyone over 18 can set up a Lasting Power of Attorney – you don’t need to be ill. But you can only do it while you’re capable of understanding what you’re doing (when you still have ‘mental capacity’).
It’s up to you whether you apply yourself ask a solicitor to do it for you, or use an online service like us. Obviously it’ll be cheapest to do it yourself. But it’s a fairly complicated process, so you might want to get some help.
Once you’ve sent in your application it’ll take about eight to ten weeks to register. And as soon as it’s done, the Lasting Power of Attorney is up and running.
If you have a partner you might want to think about ‘mirror’ Powers of Attorney. They let you appoint each other as attorney if one of you loses your mental capacity.
What happens if I don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney and I can’t make decisions anymore?
Things do get a bit more difficult, and expensive. Your family or carer will need to apply to the Court of Protection. The court will then appoint someone, usually a family member or friend (called a ‘deputy’), to make the decisions for them. Legal fees for this can cost a lot.
In a nutshell
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document where you nominate a friend or relative to make decisions about your finances or welfare if you can’t do it anymore. It costs £82 to register a Lasting Power of Attorney in England and Wales (£77 in Scotland and £127 in Northern Ireland). You can apply for it yourself, or use a solicitor or an online service like us to do it for you.