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Lawyers Fees....Power of Attorney

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by mandyp, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. mandyp

    mandyp Registered User

    Oct 20, 2004
    150
    Glasgow
    Hi

    I wondered if anyone would mind giving me an indication of how much it costs to pay a lawyer to get this organised. I'm trying to get Dad to go and see one while Mum is still capable of signing everything over to him, I think it's really important. Again, he's only concerned with the cost, saying....'the minute you involve lawyers it costs a fortune, we've got better things to do with our money right now', which I appreciate.

    I accept that there will be a cost involved and I'm happy to pay it, for piece of mind as I think ulitmately it could be more expensive and a lot more hassle in the long term, which I don't think Dad will need. Anyway, I have no idea how to go about this or how to choose a solicitor. So, here are my questions (happy to receive answers on all or some of them!!)

    1. Are there solicitors that specialise in this type of thing (people with AD etc)
    2. Cost?
    3. If anyone can recommend one in the Glasgow/Lanarkshire area I'd be happy to know of one!

    Thanks so much for anyone's help (again)

    Mandy
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Mandy

    I would suggest that first of all you get the EPA form, from wherever is best for you. You can download the form from the Court of protection web site at http://www.guardianship.gov.uk/formsdocuments/forms.htm

    I suggest you also download, or get the booklet that explains things. You can get that on http://www.guardianship.gov.uk/formsdocuments/publications.htm

    I have my wife's EPA form in front of me as I type.

    There are details of both of us, and the address. Jan signed it. The solicitor witnessed her signature.

    I signed it, as attorney, and that was witnessed by our solicitor too.

    And that was the extent of it.

    I can see no reason why you need a solicitor, necessarily.

    There is an EPA helpline and I found them incredibly helpful when I wondered about Registering the EPA:
    EPA Helpline: 020 7664 7327 or 0845 330 2963 (UK only)

    If you feel safer using a lawyer, then fine, but I have no idea of costs. We did use a solicitor, because he was a family friend, and he was able to verify that 1) Jan was in a condition to understand what she was signing [we were getting very close to the line at that point 2) we needed to get the form organised as soon as possible.

    If you are concerned at lawyers fees, then consider not using one.

    Best of luck - the process is not complex, so please don't worry too much about it.

    Just do it........
     
  3. Ruthie

    Ruthie Registered User

    Jul 9, 2003
    114
    South Coast
    Our solicitor charged about 80 pounds, I think, about 8 years ago. Your solicitor may want a letter from the GP to say that your mum is mentally competent enough to understand what she is signing, and she would have to agree that the GP can tell the solicitor.

    Our solicitor was very understanding and explained everything to my husband so that he could understand it.

    You are entitled to ask the solicitor what they will charge to do the work before they start - many solicitors give the first half hour of their time free for a new client. You could even phone up the solicitor's office and ask how much before you make the appointment - that's what I do. Most solicitor's offices have someone who specialises in these matters.

    Or you could do as Brucie suggests and get the forms and booklet for yourself and read them through first. The Citizen's Advice Bureau should be able to help you fill them in, but I feel personally that it would be safest to use a solicitor to make sure everything is done properly at this stage.

    You probably need an Enduring Power of Attorney, which can be registered when the person concerned becomes mentally incompetent to deal with their own affairs. A solicitor can be used to do this when it reaches that stage, but you can save money by doing it yourself, perhaps with help from the CAB. You have to pay a fee to the Court of Protection to register it, about 200 pounds I think. (Sorry, my computer has lost it's "pound" sign!).

    I think that an "ordinary" Power of Attorney comes into effect immediately, and lapses if the person becomes mentally incompetent, so I don't think that is what is needed.

    Your mother can appoint more than one Attorney (eg your Dad and yourself, or other relations if she wishes). If anything happened to your Dad, it would be an expensive and time-consuming process to sort matters out so that you could deal with her affairs.

    Study the difference between "joint attorneys" and "jointly and severally" - it has become relevent for me, as I am joint attorney for my husband with my two sons, but unfortunately I have been diagnosed with cancer, and it is likely that I will die before my husband, so my sons will have to deal with the problems caused by the fact that the Power of Attorney becomes void if one of the joint attorneys dies or can no longer act. "Jointly and severally" would mean that my sons could continue to act without me - but they were very young when my husband drew his up, and no doubt the solicitor advised him to make it that way.

    Whatever you do, don't leave it any longer - tell your Dad that if your Mum gets too bad to understand what she is doing, it is too late, and he will have to fork out a great deal more money to take control of her financial affairs, and I think he will have to pay each year for her accounts to be looked at by the Court of Protection. Perhaps phoning a solicitor and asking what the initial step will cost would be a start, then you can reassure your Dad on that front.

    Good luck!

    Ruthie
     
  4. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Mandy
    we didn't have a solicitor,our financial adviser arranged it ,also pre paid funerals and wills.
    Time back he re arranged our finances the best thing we ever did.
    There was no charge,FAs make some money from commision earned,but if they charge they are bound to inform the client of the expected cost
    Having said all that you can do it yourself.
    Best wishes
    Norman
     
  5. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Hello Mandy

    you can do most of it yourself - you just need the signatures to be witnessed. If you get a solicitor to do this for you then it shouldn't cost heaps as it is only a 10 minute job.

    It may be helpful to get advice from a professional though - Aunts solicitor pointed out that she had only chosen 1 attorney who was of a similar age and it would be wise to have another younger person (just in case!). You can set up that either can act independantly or have both to work together. The COP will probably give this type of advice for free?

    I have heard of Financial Advisors acting as advisors and witnesses as it is something they will quite often suggest when advising on pensions, wills etc and the cost of them is likely to be absorbed into their other % fees.

    Don't delay - I dread to think how difficult it would have been had Aunts EPA not been in place. There is enough stress and worry without having to battle with more procedures and paper and costs.

    Kriss
     
  6. Ruthie

    Ruthie Registered User

    Jul 9, 2003
    114
    South Coast
    Factsheets

    Sorry, forgot to say...

    The Alzheimers Society has a fact sheet on Power of Attorney (see their main website) which can be downloaded.

    Age Concern http://www.ageconcern.org.uk has a factsheet (No 22) on Legal and Financial affairs). I think you can download it, or they will send you a printed copy if you phone them. Their factsheets are very comprehensive.

    Hope that helps

    Ruthie
     
  7. mandyp

    mandyp Registered User

    Oct 20, 2004
    150
    Glasgow
    Thank you so much for all your replies, I don't think that Dad really appreciates how important this is. There is so much for him to cope with in terms of 'forms' and I really don't think he can be bothered. I will point out how he needs to do this and will download all the stuff and have a look at it.
     
  8. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Mandy

    I understand the challenge that forms provide, but the EPA ones are so simple that I don't think anyone would have a problem once they see them.
     

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