Appointing someone you trust to make key decisions for you if you lose mental capacity is now £20 cheaper in England and Wales, Justice Minister Helen Grant announced last week. The Government has reduced the application fees for registering both Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) and Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) from £130 to £110, with effect from 1st October 2013.
LPAs and EPAs are legal documents used in England and Wales to allow the applicant to appoint someone they know and trust to make decisions about their health and welfare or financial affairs if they were to lose capacity in the future.
The number of people taking out lasting powers of attorney has increased significantly in recent years, with 150,000 registered in 2010/11, 183,000 in 2011/12 and 229,000 in 2012/13 (an increase of 25% over the last year)
The fee reduction has been made possible, says the Government, by the success of a transformation programme carried out by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), which manages the LPA and EPA schemes. The work includes the introduction of new technology, more efficient processes and the recent launch of an innovative digital application tool. This has enabled the fee to be reduced to the lowest rate since LPAs were introduced in 2007.
‘It is really important that everybody considers making a Lasting Power of Attorney – it means that as they get older, or if they have issues with their health, they have the peace of mind from knowing that if they ever lost capacity the important decisions about their life will be taken by someone they know and trust,’ said Ms Grant.
The fee covers the costs to the OPG of maintaining the register of LPA and EPAs.
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