On the 1st October 2013, the application fee for registering a lasting power of attorney (LPA) or enduring power of attorney (EPA) will drop from £130 to £110. Registering a power of attorney allows you to nominate someone you trust to make decisions about your health, welfare and financial affairs should you lose the capacity to make them yourself.

Power of Attorney FormIn the last year there has been a 25% increase on people taking out an LPA, with 330,000 registering in 2012/13 alone. The reduction in fees is hoped to encourage even more people to consider taking this important step to safeguard their future wellbeing. It is recommended that even young, healthy people consider naming a power of attorney, as an incident such as a road traffic accident could leave you unable to manage your affairs or make vital financial decisions related to your care.

Those who do suffer an injury of this nature – usually a head or brain injury – will be appointed a professional deputy by the Court of Protection, who will act in their best interests to safeguard their future. In cases where people are involved in a compensation claim, the Court of Protection will work with their solicitors, who can not only aid in the claim but in providing long-term financial planning advice for seriously injured clients [1] . Solicitors will also be able to signpost people with power of attorney towards independent financial advisers and other services which will help them to deal with the potentially vast amounts of money awarded in compensation.

With the changes to the fees taking place in just a couple of months, it is now up to the government to educate people on the importance of appointing a power of attorney, and to streamline the application process. The Public Guardian, Alan Eccles, said:

"More and more people are making the important decision to apply for a lasting power of attorney and it is right that they receive the best possible service. We are making great strides with our transformation programme and innovations like our online tool are making the process simpler, clearer and faster for applicants – as well as cheaper."

[1] www.leighday.co.uk/Brain-spinal-injury/Brain-injury

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