New Year has arrived and getting your affairs in order and saving money are probably amongst your New Year’s Resolutions but making a DIY Lasting Powers Of Attorney (LPA) is definitely not where you should cut costs.
David Sinclair partner at Acorn Solicitors and director of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) is making it his mission this year to warn Somerset residents about the dangers of a DIY Lasting Powers Of Attorney.
An LPA is a legal document allowing a person to appoint individuals to make important decisions about care and finances on their behalf in the event of a loss of mental capacity.
In 2014, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) launched its online LPA tool, which allows people to create their DIY Lasting Powers Of Attorney documents without the need for professional advice from a solicitor.
HOWEVER, a new report led by SFE, warns that:
“Creating an LPA without taking legal advice faces higher risk of an ineffective legal document, additional fees and becoming a victim of fraud or Coercion”
David Sinclair said:
“Being able to submit an LPA application digitally is extremely concerning and raises some serious questions around the potential for fraud and financial abuse.”
During a study conducted for the report, participants were invited to create DIY Lasting Powers Of Attorney using the online tool. The study revealed that:
- Some forms did not accurately express the way in which participants would want their affairs and welfare to be handled
- Documents were more likely to contain elementary mistakes, rendering them ineffective and requiring additional fees
- Following consultation with a solicitor, most participants made significant changes to the permissions of their documents regarding how and by whom their affairs were managed
If you are planning to create LPAs this year then we URGE that you take specialist legal advice. We offer fixed fees and will guide you through the process ensuring that you are doing the absolute best thing for your individual affairs.
An LPA is by far the most powerful and important legal document an individual can have, because it allows you to pass life-changing decisions about your affairs on to someone else.
To download the report ‘The Real Cost of DIY LPAs’ go to: http://www.sfe.legal