20th July 2017Category: Working Carers
In the recent past I have written about the LPA service and what is a Lasting Power of Attorney but now the service is changing and growing and I thought you might find this information useful.
Since April the LPA Team has offered a new range of services and there is an extra team member on board, Annamarie. Janet McElwee and Annamarie Desmond-Storey support people in person in our office as well as the postal service.
There are now three levels of service available.
If you want to talk things through face-to-face and maybe get a better understanding of LPAs, you can make a one-hour appointment with the LPA team.
They type out your LPA and you take it away to sign with lots of sticky notes. When you return it, all signed, they check it over and send to the Office of Public Guardian.
If you need things to move quickly, you can go to this meeting prepared with all the names and addresses of everyone involved with your LPA then you can go home with the typed LPA ready for signature.
This service is personal and tailored to your needs and this is reflected in the price. The price is £180 per LPA.
This level of service is where the LPA team support you by telephone and post to make your LPA. The price is £150 per LPA.
If you want to fill out the LPA forms yourself but just want it to be checked for common errors and ensure that it won’t be rejected by the Office of Public Guardian (which can be costly), the LPA team offer a checking service. Think of it like the Post Office Passport checking service. This service is just to check, not advice and it costs £25 per LPA.
In addition to the above prices each LPA will also require a payment of £82* to the Office of the Public Guardian.
(You may be eligible for a reduction or exemption of this charge if you receive certain benefits or can prove a low income. The most common benefits that give our customers exemptions are: Housing benefit; Pension Credit Guarantee Element; Council Tax Reduction (not single occupancy) but there are others.)
When I was chatting with the LPA team, I found out some interesting information which I think is really useful. When activating an LPA with utilities and other organisations outside of West Cumbria, where you can’t easily pop in for a visit, you may need to send a certified copy of the LPA (you always keep the original). Certified copies are not just ordinary photocopies, but we can help you make them. First copy is £15 and £10 per extra after that. I know this would bring peace of mind knowing that this extra option exists.
In addition to the new Gold, Silver & Bronze services the LPA team also offer the following NEW service. One-hour office appointments – the appointments offer an opportunity to quiz the LPA Team about all aspects of LPA and might be used for any of the following reasons:
The cost of the hour long appointment is £40. This can be off set against the cost of a Gold or Silver LPA if you decide to go ahead with one of those services.
West Cumbria Carers offer these services to support customers but it is important to note that you can set up a Lasting Power of Attorney yourself. It is not a difficult process but there can be a lot of easy mistakes made - It has to be signed in a specific order or it doesn’t happen and it costs to send it, re-apply and so on. Here is the site for the Office of Public Guardian for information: https://www.gov.uk/opg
Martin Lewis on Moneysavingexpert.com has been to be promoting the importance of LPA’s a lot recently and here is a link to his article - http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/power-of-attorney
Overall with the West Cumbria Carers LPA service you are paying for accuracy and experience. They can spot the smallest mistake on the form or discuss different options if you are unsure of what to do. The LPA service has been working well in WCC with positive reviews so they get a big thumbs up from previous customers. They provide reassurance when things in your life might be a little unknown and unclear.
If we are truly honest with ourselves, we shy away from discussions about getting seriously ill and mental capacity because it is scary. If you get a LPA you can register to use now, you don’t have to wait until you lose capacity. That doesn’t mean you instantly have no control of your finances, it just means that it allows someone to help you and you are still in control. Imagine you hurt your back from doing something simple (or silly) in the garden. You are in pain and the last thing you want to do is go to town and deal with the bank but it has to be done. The LPA could be activated and your Attorney could go on your behalf (because we all know now you can’t get access to anything if you are not the person on the account). This could happen today, but I know with LPAs we all like to think of it for the far future. So have a read about it on our website and give the LPA team a call on: 01900 821976
*Price subject to change by the Office of the Public Guardian
(Please note that there are other websites and resources available, Martin Lewis’s article was selected as an example as it has led to more national coverage and understanding of LPA).