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Dementia Action Week 2019

M2M Community Solicitors LLP and Dementia Action Week

For Dementia Action Week (20-26 May 2019) we are offering reduced price Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPA’s) and free talks on Lasting Power of Attorneys and Court of Protection applications.

UPDATE 17 May 2019 – Talks on Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection Applications on SATURDAY 18 May 2019

A few places are still available if you wish to attend a free talk on Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection Applications please feel free to drop in and check availability on the day at Pentax House, South Hill Avenue, South Harrow HA2 0DU for sessions starting 11am, 1:30pm and 4pm

M2M Community Solicitors LLP and Dementia Action Week

We are an experienced firm of solicitors who deal with Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection applications on a regular basis.
Having had the privilege of meeting with clients who have full mental capacity and those who have been diagnosed with dementia through to them losing mental capacity we can appreciate the difficulties for all of those affected, being usually but not exclusively, family members. We enjoy the interaction with such clients, hearing some wonderful stories and more importantly enjoy the laughs we have during our meetings. All meetings are conducted in person to ensure that we know our clients, there is no undue pressure put on them in making these legal documents and so our clients know who we are so they feel they can approach us to ask questions at any time.

Lasting Powers of Attorney are legal documents you can make whilst you still have the required mental capacity. It is where you can appoint a person or people to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so in the future. It is not just for those who have been diagnosed with dementia but for potentially everyone although it should be noted that not everyone will need a Lasting Power of Attorney based on their circumstances and we are very upfront in advising whether you actually need a Lasting Power of Attorney or not. Please remember that a person does not just lose mental capacity because of dementia but it could be due to a heart attack, stroke or accident as well as many other reasons. There are two Lasting Power of Attorneys, Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare. This is a much quicker and cheaper alternative to Court of Protection applications.

Court of Protection Applications are made if someone has lost mental capacity and unable to deal with their affairs alone. Again there are two separate applications, Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare although the latter is made in exceptional circumstances only. The application made in such circumstances will be for a person or people to become Deputies.

Reduced Price Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPA’s)

We understand that people consider LPA’s but they can be expensive and so we hope that in this important week we are able to assist clients by reducing our charges.

Normal Charge

Our normal charge is £150 + VAT per hour (£180 inclusive of VAT per hour). Lasting Powers of Attorney cases normally take 2 – 3 hours from start to completion and so the overall charge is usually £300 – £450+ VAT (£360 – £540 inclusive of VAT per hour).

Please note we charge in units of 6 minutes and so you only pay for the work we actually carry out. Above is only an estimate rather than a fixed price. There are also registration fees payable to the Office of the Public Guardian, which cost £82 per application (£164 for both LPA’s) although if on a low income the fees can be reduced.

Reduced Charge

Our reduced charge for Dementia Action Week is £100 + VAT per hour (£120 inclusive of VAT per hour). Lasting Powers of Attorney cases normally take 2 – 3 hours from start to completion and so the overall charge is likely to be £200 – £300 + VAT (£240 – £360 inclusive of VAT per hour).
Please note we charge in units of 6 minutes and so you only pay for the work we actually carry out. Above is only an estimate rather than a fixed price. There are also registration fees payable to the Office of the Public Guardian, which cost £82 per application (£164 for both LPA’s) although if on a low income the fees can be reduced.

Talks on Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection Applications

We understand there is lots of information in the public domain but it can still be confusing, some information can be inaccurate and there are many decisions to make whilst going through the forms.
We currently provide our services to charities and community groups throughout each year in talking to groups of people wanting to know about Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection Applications, the decisions they will need to make whilst making these applications and the implications of such decisions. Real thought is needed about some of the questions. Our talks are very popular and always well attended and so for this Dementia Action Week we have decided to carry out sessions throughout Saturday 18 May 2019. Each talk will last for 2 hours, the first hour deals with Lasting Powers of Attorney applications and the second hour deals with Court of Protection applications. There will be an opportunity to ask general questions at the end of each hour.

Appointments about individual circumstances

We will offer drop in appointments on Saturday 18 May 2019 where no official appointment is needed for those attending the talks to establish whether you actually need a Lasting Power of Attorney or Deputyship for the Court of Protection rather than drafting these documents on that day.

Action for you to take

Booking an appointment for a Lasting Power of Attorney or Court of Protection Matter

Please call our office on 020 8938 4611 to book an appointment. At times we can be very busy and unable to take each telephone call instantly so please do leave a message on our secure voicemail with your name and telephone number and we will call you back. Alternatively, you are welcome to use our contact us page and send us a message where again, we will get back to you. It is important that in the message you provide your contact telephone number so we can call you to arrange an appointment.

Booking a place on our talks on Saturday 18 May 2019 on Lasting Power of Attorneys and Court of Protection

Please note that there will be limited spaces available for the talks and so it is important that if you book a place that you do attend. If you are unable to attend we request that you do inform us as soon as possible so we can offer the place to another client.
Please call our office on 020 8938 4611 to book a place on each of our talks. At times we can be very busy and unable to take each telephone call instantly so please do leave a message on our secure voicemail with your name and telephone number and we will call you back. Alternatively, you are welcome to use our contact us page and send us a message where again, we will get back to you. It is important that in the message you provide your contact telephone number so we can call you to arrange a place on our timed talks.

Every year there is a dedicated week to dementia awareness however, at M2M Community Solicitors LLP we would like this week extended to a month. During the month of May 2018 we will be drafting reduced price Lasting Power of Attorneys at only £120 per hour inclusive of VAT. Generally they take 2-3 hours to complete a case in full and so the cost estimate will be £360 inclusive of VAT.

Please note that the final figure could be slightly less or slightly more than the estimate provided. In addition, there will be registration fees payable to the Office of the Public Guardian. For further information, please call our office on 020 8938 4611.

For clients who have instructed us previously in relation to Wills, Lasting Power of Attorneys and Court of Protection cases, we are in the process of writing to you in respect of our change of policy in retaining your cases and are hoping to gain your consent to such retention.

If possible, please respond to the letters sent and if you do not believe that you have received our correspondence, please contact our office on 020 8938 4611 so that we can discuss retention of your file.

A partial refund is being given to those who had to pay a registration fee from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2017. We have used information obtained from the DirectGov website below to assist with those establishing whether they are entitled to a refund and if so, the procedure to follow:

The Refund Amount

When you paid the fee Refund for each power of attorney
April to September 2013 £54
October 2013 to March 2014 £34
April 2014 to March 2015 £37
April 2015 to March 2016 £38
April 2016 to March 2017 £45

If you paid a reduced fee, you will get half of the applicable fee stated above.

How to Claim your refund

• You can complete an online form at https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund
• You can make a claim by phone if you do not have a computer or are unable to use them. Please note that if you do not have a UK bank account or you are a Court appointed Deputy, you must make a claim by phone.

Refunds Helpline
Email: poarefunds@justice.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 456 0300 (choose option 6)
Textphone: 0115 934 2778
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 5pm
Wednesday 10am to 5pm

If the donor has died

If the donor has died the Death certificate of the deceased donor and either the Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or a Will needs to be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian by either email to poarefunds@justice.gsi.gov.uk, or by post to:
POA Refunds Team
7th Floor, Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 16185
Birmingham
B2 2WH

Once you have claimed

It is stated that it takes up to 12 weeks for your claim to be processed.

For greater detail please go direct to the DirectGov website at https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund

We wrote to each client we prepared a Will for with the following information:
We write with regard to recent cases in the Courts. You will remember that during your initial meeting that we discussed the requirements for a valid will and as you had testamentary capacity that you should be free to decide who gets what when you pass away. We also highlighted that people could potentially attempt to challenge a Will. There is legislation in place which allows for people to make a challenge where there is not ‘reasonable financial provision’ for people connected to the person who has died. There have been recent cases which have shown that the legislation can be interpreted by the Courts very widely.

As an example, in one case a father had disinherited his children and had almost no contact with them for many years. Two of these children were able to get money from the estate of the deceased, one was a settlement out of Court for £22,000 and the other was awarded by Court the sum of £30,000. Another case heard at the Supreme Court involved a mother who left her estate to charities instead of her daughter who she was estranged from for many years, since she was 17 years old, and had no contact with her. The daughter was awarded £50,000 at the first Court that heard the case and the Supreme Court confirmed that the District Judge in that case was entitled to come to that decision based on the facts before him.

For some clients at the time of drafting their Will we have written a separate Statement which would clearly state that they did not wish for certain family members to benefit from their Will and dependent upon the instructions given, may detail briefly the reason why. The rulings on these cases highlight the possibility of further similar challenges and we would therefore recommend that if you chose to leave a family member out of your Will and especially where we drafted a supporting statement that you draft a separate letter detailing the precise history of why you may have chosen not to leave anything to certain family members or if you have given certain family members less than others who would fall into the same category for example, the reason why you may have left more to one of your children than another or you have left one sibling more than another sibling. Writing a separate and signed letter will hopefully strengthen your position. The detailed letter should state clearly the history and reasons why you do not want certain members of your family to benefit from your estate, or benefit as much and the level of contact you have had with such family members over recent years. This signed and dated letter should then be kept with your Will. We cannot state that this will prevent any challenges to your Will in the future but as these cases are being assessed by the Courts on a case by case basis and based on the facts of each case, we would advise that you take the additional steps to try to ensure as much as possible your wishes are followed.

Should you wish to send a signed copy of your letter to us, we will be happy to place it on file with a copy of your Will.

You do not need your Will re-written just because of the contents of this letter but we just wanted to highlight what has been happening recently in the Courts and hope this information and the action you may take as a result will be helpful to you.

Please feel free to contact us for anything that you are interested in

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