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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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