Lasting Power of Attorney Case study

 
The following case study is a true case.
 
Two years ago we prepared Last Wills and Testaments for a couple who lived in Kent. At the time we prepared their wills we advised, that as they were elderly, we should also prepare both Lasting Power of Attorney document for Health & Welfare and Financial matters.
 
At the time our fee for preparing such documents was £95.00. As there are two Lasting Power of Attorney documents for each person their total fees would have been an additional £380.00. As you can appreciate these clients were only expecting to pay for writing joint wills. So we were therefore asking for almost an additional £400.00. As such the client declined.
We also advised that they should consider changing their property ownership to tenants in common and write wills which included a property protection trust. Again this would have increased the amount they expected to pay for a basic will writing service. Once again the clients declined. They were adamant all they required was a basic joint will.
 
Two years later both went into a residential care. One has subsequently died, the survivor now owns the whole estate and is now unable to deal with his own financial affairs.
 
His closest relative now has no choice but to force power of attorney over his affairs which involves an application to the court of protection for deputyship. This is an extremely complex process with legal fees likely to exceed £2,000 plus VAT.
 
In addition the residential care home are now charging the survivor close to one thousand per week or £52,000 per annum. At that rate the estate will be completely out of funds within four years.
 
Had we been able to provide accurate services we could have almost certainly saved this family close to £100,000. This may have cost more in the outset but this is certainly expensive mistake.
 
When writing wills IWC strongly recommend writing Lasting Power of Attorneys for both Healh & Welfare and Financial Matters. Yes this may cost more but it can save many thousands.

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