Financial & Legal News

Why should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

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Mr and Mrs A both had to go into residential care. Their house needed to be sold in order to pay the care fees. Unfortunately they were both unable to manage their own financial affairs and had not made Lasting Powers of Attorney, so there was no-one with authority to act on their behalf.

The house was in the sole name of Mr A. An application was made to the Court of Protection for a Deputy to be appointed to act on Mr A’s behalf in respect of financial matters, to include authority to sell the house.

The procedure for applying to the Court of Protection is lengthy and expensive and sadly, Mr A died before the Court could appoint a Deputy.

Mr A had made a Will leaving his whole estate (including the house) to Mrs A and appointing her as sole executor. She was unable to apply for a Grant of Probate herself (which would give her authority to sell Mr A’s house) and so another application to the Court of Protection was made. This was so that a Deputy could be appointed to apply for Grant of Probate on behalf of Mrs A and to deal with the sale of the house.

The Court of Protection appointed a solicitor as Mrs A’s Deputy and he obtained Grant of Probate of Mr A’s Estate. Sadly, before the sale of the house could be completed Mrs A died.

The authority of the Deputy ceased on Mrs A’s death and so he could no longer deal with the sale of the house on her behalf. The executor of Mrs A’s estate had to apply for two Grants of Probate – one for Mrs A’s estate and one for Mr A’s estate so that the house could finally be sold and the outstanding care fees paid.

If Mr and Mrs A had both made Lasting Powers of Attorney when they were still able to manage their own financial affairs, Mr A’s attorney could have arranged for the sale of the house. This would have avoided a lot of delay and two expensive applications to the Court of Protection. This would have saved approximately £4000 in Court fees and solicitors’ fees.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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