Nearly 22,000 Applications for Lasting Power of Attorney Rejected
As a result of the current Lockdown measures and the need for members of our Community to isolate themselves for longer Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Finance are increasingly necessary to allow attorneys to attend the bank, pay bills and deal with other necessary financial matters.
Lasting powers of attorney should not be viewed as a document for older members of our Community but are something every adult should consider having in place for circumstances when you may not be able to deal with your financial matters yourself due to accident, injury, illness or a need to self-isolate. It is a document prepared whilst you have capacity to make the decision about who you would wish to deal with these matters for you should you be unable to and once registered provides you with reassurance that such matters are taken care of should difficult circumstances arise.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
It is a legal document allowing a person (called a “Donor”) to appoint another person or persons (called an “Attorney”) to make decisions or act on their behalf
A Property and Finance Lasting Power of Attorney allows an Attorney to make decisions about a Donors money and finances and this can be with the permission of the donor whilst they still have mental capacity but may be physically unable to do what is necessary. The power of attorney will continue to be able to be used if a person loses mental capacity. Some of the powers it can give Attorneys would be paying bills, writing cheques, visiting the banks and collecting pensions.
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney allows an Attorney to make decisions such as medical care, care home decisions and making decisions about your daily routine. These decisions are only made by your attorney once a medical professional has determined you are no longer able to make those decisions yourself.
To be able to be used when needed the Lasting Powers of Attorney must be registered with the Office of Public Guardian.
What did Which find?
Under a freedom of Information request Which, the organisation who champions Consumer Choice , has established that from April 2019 until April 2020 nearly 22,000 applications for Lasting Power of Attorney were rejected In England and Wales.
Reasons for rejections?
It appears that many of the mistakes people are making relate to the inadequate written instructions given by the Donor on the form relating to the restrictions the Attorney’s powers and decision making abilities.
The information also showed that signing the documents in the wrong order led to rejections of the whole application as there are very specific rules for the signing of the documents.
Further crossings out on the application form led to rejection. It is extremely important that the documents are clear and crossings out can lead to uncertainty of intention and hence rejection.
Then in circumstances where the Power of Attorney was successfully registered by the Office of Public Guardian missing information and incorrect spellings of names of donor or attorneys meant that banks and financial institutions rejected the power of attorney and it could not be used.
There is a fee to pay for the registration of each lasting power of Attorney with the Office of Public Guardian (currently £82) and rejection of Lasting Powers of Attorney not only has the inconvenience of amending the document or starting again, it can also lead to additional fees being required upon submitting the documents.
Lasting Powers of Attorney and Dawsons Law
At Dawsons Law we will take your instructions and advise you regarding restrictions or powers that you may want your Attorneys to have and ensure the Powers of Attorney are prepared in a way that will work for you. Our Lasting Powers of Attorney are prepared and registered under a fixed fee but if you require more bespoke instructions to your Attorneys an additional fee may be attributed. Any such additional fee would be discussed with you in advance of the work being carried out and we will always be fully transparent with you with regards to costs and fees.
If you have nobody local to act as your attorney or if you did not wish to appoint family members or friends to take on the role then we can talk you through appointing a member of Dawsons Law as your Attorney. Salena Dawson acts as Attorney for various Clients making decisions in the Clients best interest on a daily basis.
When preparing a power of attorney on your behalf we will first send you out a checklist so you can ensure that we have spelt the names correctly and have your instructions accurate. Any amendments or additions can be made at this time.
Once the Checklist is approved, we will prepare your Lasting Power of Attorney for signature and will guide you through the signature process being a witness in circumstances where we can.
Once signed and returned to us we will complete the Office of Public Guardian registration process and liaise direct with them upon your behalf.
Once registered we will forward to you the documents for safe keeping or if instructed store them upon your behalf for when they are needed.
If you would like an appointment we can take instructions at our office, videocall or an initial Telephone Appointment. Call 01603 327280 for further information.