A Layman's Guide to Wills and Estate
Planning – Part 2 – Power of Attorney.
I think Wills and Estate Planning
are often confusing; so here is some clarity.
Today we are going to look at Powers
Powers of Attorney are a
surprisingly large topic, so I am going to break it down into sections and cover that section in the post and
A Lasting Power of Attorney replaced
Enduring Power of Attorney and introduced new classes and levels of Attorney.
I will take an take an overview of
the Lasting Power of Attorney. The process is bureaucratic and a bit of a faff but preparation makes is relatively
What is a Power of Attorney
There are 3 different types
(classes) of POA.
A Health POA – for managing
your own personal health.
A Personal Wealth POA – for
managing your personal wealth.
A Business Wealth POA – for
managing your business affairs.
So what does a POA help you to
Basically a POA allows you to
appoint someone to manage and make decisions about your Health, Personal Wealth or Business Wealth as if they were
you; while you are alive. When you die they cease to have this authority and your Will or Trust takes
When it comes to the wealth POA they
act as if they are the owners of that wealth but some restrictions can be put in place.
Once again; as someone who helps to
deal with Elder Financial Abuse the POA's are both good and bad.
Bad in that someone can act with
freedom, no management and no oversight and so if they behave badly and with bad faith; they can often get away
This means that they can steal, lie,
enter into contracts and generally have a good time with someone else's money with little real chance of getting
The POA's are good when they are
managed properly, have ongoing oversight and management and can relate to the changing lifestyle and needs of the
This is a service what we provide
with our Independent Lifestyle Management Advocates. This service allows ongoing contact with the client and the
changing lifestyle needs and situations they experience are fed back through the Advocate. We are the only ones
providing this service as we created and developed it.
POA's are a two stage
The first stage is that you have to
complete the government form to apply for the correct POA.
You can take out just one POA or
more than one. Each POA needs a separate application.
Each person has to do their own POA;
so a husband and wife will each do their own.
There is a degree of flaffing around
with POA's but this can be reduced by planning things in advance. We can help with these.
In another posts I will look at the
specifics of each type of POA and how they can be important and useful.
There are a number of issues that
have to be thought through when doing these. The person preparing the forms should take you through these and make
notes for later reference and guidance when operating the POA.
So the forms are completed and the
required people have signed them in the right order.
As you complete the form you are
asked about the person or persons who will act as your Attorney. This is the person who will act as you and make
decisions as you. You need to consider this point carefully and not take the first person
Many people will choose family
members, friends or the person who has written the form may suggest themselves.
The form allows for more than one
Attorney. However; the practicality of situations may require only one practical decision maker. This is a choice
you have to make and the person doing the POA should be able to help you reach the decision that is right for
Family members are often a free
option but the reality is that many family members have stolen from people because their is no management and no
oversight and they are provided with easy access to large sums of money.
With careful planning you can
minimise the risk and our Service can help you with this.
The reality is that whoever acts as
your Attorney will need to meet you, understand your situation and understand your wishes for the
People often think of the money POA
and forget the Health POA but each has benefits. I will explore those in the other posts.
So what should you pay for a
When you prepare a POA it then has
to be sent off and registered. This is phase two of the process. Although your POA is done it is not legally valid
until it is registered. You will be notified when this occurs.
Currently the cost to register each
form is £82.00
The real cost of preparing the POA
will vary. Personally I would avoid those who are selling POA's below the real costs of production or offering them
free as you may well pay later.
A lot of people want to get control
over your wealth and a POA is a good way to do so.
Depending on location and issues to
be dealt with I would think about £300 to £500 should be a fair fee for the time, experience and knowledge required
to do this. The whole thing should be able to be dealt with in one sitting if your preparations are right and
everyone involved is available; this will keep the cost down.
If you decide to use an Independent
Lifestyle Management Advocate there will be an ongoing annual charge and a professional fee when they are dealing
with Attorney business.
Fees and charges are disclosed and
agreed and written into the POA forms and registered with the government body.
The amount of involvement that the
Attorney will have with the client does vary. Using our Advocate means that they will have more involvement and for
a longer time. This become important when key decisions have to be made and someone has to take your corner and
fight for you.
At the end of the day that is what
the job of the Attorney should be about. Someone to take your corner and to fight for you; not someone who simply
wants to dip into your wealth.
If you already have a POA and
appointed Attorney you can change them when you want to or add to them. If you decide to do this make sure that you
have a new Attorney agreed before you cancel the old one.
Remember; that Free advice at this
point can be very expensive if something goes wrong; so take care.
If you want our help with security,
management and oversight then please contact me.
I work across England and can be
contacted on 07787 503646 and ask for David Sheridan. ©