Lasting Power of Attorney, Uncategorized

The Importance of Instructing a Solicitor or Professional when Preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a powerful and important legal document.  By making a Lasting Power of Attorney you are setting up an arrangement which will potentially give someone authority to deal with everything you own and your personal care at a time when you will be at your most vulnerable.

The benefits of using a solicitor/professional are as follows:

  1. A dedicated professional whose expertise are those of drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney. They will look after you throughout the whole process.
  1. They will prepare all documentation for you and explain all options that can be taken.
  1. They will deal with the registration process with the Office of the Public Guardian.
  1. They will agree a fixed price up front with no hidden charges.
  1. They will act as your certificate provider so that no third party is required.

There are many errors that can be made when preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney but by using a solicitor/professional who specialises in Lasting Powers of Attorney, these errors are less likely to occur.

Some common errors are:

  1. When appointing more than one Attorney and you appoint those Attorneys jointly, if one Attorney predeceases the Donor or is unable to act for any reason, then the other Attorney cannot act alone. Therefore, the Lasting Power of Attorney becomes void.  This would result in a new Lasting Power of Attorney having to be made.
  1. There is a strict order of signing the Lasting Power of Attorney which must be maintained. First must be part A, then part B and finally part C.  If these are signed and dated in the incorrect order the Lasting Power of Attorney would be rejected at registration with the Office of the Public Guardian.
  1. Any mistakes made on the Lasting Power of Attorney must be crossed through, written again and initialled by the person completing that particular section and witnesses if appropriate. If the mistakes are not initialled again, the Lasting Power of Attorney could again be rejected at registration.

These errors are just to name a few but there are many more that could cause a Lasting Power of Attorney to be rejected when registering.

In some cases, the Donor may require use of the Lasting Power of Attorney quite urgently.  Registration is currently taking 2-3 months, however, if the Lasting Powers of Attorney is rejected at registration this can hold things up considerably.

Therefore, it is beneficial to instruct a Solicitor/Professional to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney. Please contact our Elderly Client Department for more information on:

Pudsey – 0033 3344 9606

Yeadon – 033 3344 9609

or email info@morrishsolicitors.com

 

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86% in Yorkshire & the Humber leave life-changing decisions in the hands of strangers

86% of people in Yorkshire and the Humber are currently living with no control over important later-life decisions around their housing, assets, heath and care, according to a new report by SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), the national organisation representing legal professionals such as Morrish Solicitors LLP specialising in helping people plan for later life.

The report reveals that whilst 39% of people in the region have a will in place to manage their affairs after death, only 7% have a lasting power of attorney (LPA) in place to safeguard their wishes in the event they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves, due to an accident or illness like dementia.

85% want a family member or friend to make important decisions on their behalf, in the event of illness or an accident. However, few are aware that without an LPA in place, their affairs, such as their finances, end-of-life wishes and health treatments, could be left in the hands of solicitors, social workers, doctors or the courts.

Even the minority of people that have taken steps to plan ahead for later life may still be at risk, due to poor quality legal advice and invalid documents. 38% of the people with LPAs in place did not use experts or legal guidance, instead taking a gamble using online resources, non-legal advisers, or off-the-shelf kits.

Lakshmi Turner, Chief Executive of SFE, said: “Most people assume that if they suffer an illness or accident, their next of kin will be responsible for vital decisions. The reality is starkly different – loved ones may not be able to make a decision on your behalf unless you have an LPA in place.

An LPA is by far the most powerful and important legal document an individual can have. If you have children, own a home, or have views on your preferred health treatment, we urge you to go to an expert to get the right advice.”

SFE is an independent, national organisation of professionals, such as solicitors, barristers, and chartered legal executives, committed to providing the highest quality of legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers. To download the report ‘Who will decide for you when you can’t?’, go to www.sfe.legal.

For more information about how Morrish Solicitors can help you make your Lasting Powers of Attorney, please call 0333 3449600 and ask for Tom or Monika at our Yeadon office, or Charlotte or James at our Pudsey office, or email info@morrishsolicitors.com

Uncategorized

Important things to do if your elderly relative or friend goes into a Care Home

  1. Check the relative’s house is secure – Insurers are notified, valuables are removed etc.
  1. Check that someone is able to manage the relative’s financial affairs.  Most  residents of Care Homes will need assistance with their financial affairs.  Check if there is a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney authorising someone to handle financial matters.
  1. If there is no Power of Attorney, can the relative sign one now to appoint someone to assist?  If they are able to understand a Power of Attorney then you should discuss this with the relative as soon as possible.
  1. If the relative is unable to understand a Lasting Power of Attorney then it is necessary to apply to the Court of Protection.  Someone will need to apply to the Court to be appointed as a Deputy to manage the financial affairs. This takes time (four months or so) so it is sensible to get on with it, as financial matters will need sorting.
  1. Apply for Attendance Allowance if this is not being received already.  This is a tax-free benefit which is not means tested for elderly people who need assistance with care.  The rate is £55.10 per week if the relative needs help during the day only, and £82.30 per week if assistance is required both day and night.
  1. Consider how the care is going to be paid for.  The Local Authority will provide assistance with care if a person has assets less than £23,250. Otherwise it is necessary to pay for the care in full.
  1. It is always sensible to obtain advice about the above matters.  Solicitors who are members of “Solicitors for the Elderly” will always be able to assist.  At Morrish Solicitors, four of our Solicitors are members  Tom Morrish and Monika Volsing work at our Yeadon Office.  Charlotte Bandawe and James Shingleton work at our Pudsey Office.  We also see clients at our office in Oxford Row Leeds LS1 3BE.  See solicitorsfortheelderly.com
Uncategorized

Funds raised for Alzheimer’s Society

We are delighted that we have been able to raise substantial funds for the Alzheimer’s Society during 2014-2015.  The Alzheimer’s Society has been our Charity of the Year and Morrish Solicitors LLP will have raised almost £10,000 for the charity.

We have engaged in a series of dress down days, sold cakes, attended a Memory Walk at Roundhay Park, and arranged a raffle.

As we all know, dementia is a dreadful illness which is affecting increasing numbers of people.  In our Elderly Client Department our Solicitors are assisting people with dementia on a daily basis, whether it be by assisting in management of their monies or preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney, or handling matters through the Court of Protection.  We are all members of Solicitors for the Elderly and specialise in assisting older members of the community with their legal affairs. We are delighted that we have been able to make a sizeable financial contribution to the work of the Alzheimer’s Society who provide such valuable support to those affected by dementia and their carers.

Lasting Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney Month @ Morrish

What is a lasting power of attorney (LPA)?
It’s a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint people (known as ‘attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf. It could be used if you became unable to make your own decisions. There are two types of LPA: health and welfare; and property and financial affairs. You can choose to make one type or both.

You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity – the ability to make your own decisions – when you make your LPA. You may need a court-appointed deputy instead if you’re not able to make your own decisions.

Why do you need an LPA?
If you find you’re in a position where it’s getting difficult to get out of the house to go to the bank, post office, etc, or you’ve been diagnosed with a condition that means your mental capacity will deteriorate, like dementia, making an LPA now could help you choose someone you trust to help you make decisions or act on your behalf in the future.

A health and welfare LPA allows you to choose one person or more to make decisions about things; like your daily routine (e.g. eating and what to wear), medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining treatment. This type of LPA can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions.

A property and financial affairs LPA lets you choose one person or more to make decisions about money and property for you; like paying bills, collecting benefits and selling your home. This type of LPA can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.

If it sounds like either of these LPAs could be useful to you, a family member or friend, contact us for further details of how we can help you to obtain them.

During the month of February, we will be offering a £75 discount per LPA to our Leeds and West Yorkshire based clients.

Call 0113 2507792 for Tom or Monika at our Yeadon office or 0113 2248080 for Charlotte or James at our Pudsey office. Alternatively, you can email info@morrishsolicitors.com (please quote ‘LPA Month Morrish’).