Now, where did you leave those keys? Why did you need to call whatshisname? And what DID you go upstairs to look for?
As we get older, these sort of questions can become part of every-day life (where did I leave my coffee?).
Often, it’s annoying, but when push comes to shove, it doesn’t really matter (did I even make that cup of coffee??).
But it can get serious when it comes to money matters – and there are steps you can take to make sure someone you trust can look after your financial affairs for you.
It’s called a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), a legal document that will allow you to make decisions on your behalf if you are struggling with your memory as you get older.
It can also cover issues surrounding your health and welfare.
But it must be done before you are no longer capable of making decisions, or your loved ones face a long and potentially expensive process to be able to take control of your affairs by applying to the courts for a ‘Deputyship’.
The ‘Deputyship’ can be made by anyone over the age of 18, and might not be someone you would have chosen to take over your affairs.
And it could be a costly process – here’s how the figures currently add up:
- Setting up the deputyship – £920
- Medical Assessment – £500
- Representation at court hearing – £750
- Property & Finance Deputy: First Year – £1,610, Subsequent years – £1,276
- Health & Welfare Deputy – £500 max per year
- Preparation of Annual Accounts – £230
- Preparation of annual Court of Protection Report – £230
In the first year (aside from the time it would take) the costs could be £4,510, with subsequent yearly costs at £2,006!
Bear in mind these are based on the courts allowances under fixed costs. A solicitor may charge more if they consider extra work is needed.
And remember, if you set up an LPA, you don’t necessarily lose control. You can specify whether it can be used either before, or only when, you lose your mental capacity.
LPAs can be set up relatively cheaply, and you don’t necessarily need a solicitor to do it.