Refund Available on OPG Court Fees

5th Feb 2018
Back in July the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced … ...
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Refund Available on OPG Court Fees

5th Feb 2018

Back in July the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced that the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) had been over charging court fees for registration of Power of Attorneys and that the overpaid fees would be refunded.

MoJ have now published details of the refund scheme;

Anyone who registered their Power of Attorneys (LPA or EPA) between the 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017 is entitled to a refund.

Only the donor (person who has made the power of attorney) or an attorney can apply for the refund.

It is a straight forward process that can be done online, click here for details. You will only need address and date of birth details for you and one of your attorneys along with your bank details for where you wish the refund to be paid into.

 

 

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Are LPAs an essential part of an income drawdown pension arrangement?

8th Jun 2016
The new pension freedoms introduced in April 2015 have given retirees the option to keep … ...
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Are LPAs an essential part of an income drawdown pension arrangement?

8th Jun 2016

The new pension freedoms introduced in April 2015 have given retirees the option to keep investing their pension pot and draw an income directly from it, as well as the option to pass their pension pot on to their beneficiaries when they die.

While this greater flexibility is very attractive to some retirees, there is one obvious risk.

What will happen if their health deteriorates and they are no longer able to manage their income drawdown arrangement?

What if they need to adjust their income level (for example, to pay for care costs) or adjust their underlying investment choices? Who will make these decisions and instruct the pension company?

Obtaining authority to act on an individual’s behalf can be complicated, time-consuming, expensive and require a court intervention – even for a spouse or close relative.

Of course this risk isn’t new, but it is accentuated by the new rules and the fact that more and more people are likely to opt for income drawdown and keep their pension pots invested until the day they die.

In the ‘old days’, the vast majority of people retiring took out an annuity, whose terms (and income) are fixed for life and, therefore, incapacity was not such a risk as there are no decisions to be made.

Fortunately, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a simple but highly effective solution. This legal document provides for one or more people to make decisions on an individual’s behalf if they are unable to manage their own affairs.

An LPA should arguably be an essential part of the financial planning process for any person opting for income drawdown when they retire. Currently, there seems to be limited usage of LPAs alongside income drawdown arrangements, which could be a recipe for problems in the future for those without an LPA.

Putting an LPA in place is a sensible step for anyone considering an income drawdown arrangement.

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Who’s got the POWER!

17th Jul 2013
Is it who YOU would choose? ...
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Who’s got the POWER!

17th Jul 2013

Is it who YOU would choose?

All of us are constantly making financial decisions whether we realise it or not:

  • What bills to pay
  • Is it worth switching Utility providers
  • Shall I top up my pension fund or invest elsewhere
  • Shall I save for a big holiday this year

But what happens if you suddenly can’t do this; due to physical or mental incapacity.

We often think about getting insurance to cover the loss of income but who will actually manage your money?

If you suddenly lose capacity to deal with your affairs all your bank accounts are frozen – including, in many cases, joint accounts. Nobody will be able to access your money, even those who are financially dependent on you.

So what happens?

Your loved ones will have to apply to the court of protection to become what’s known as your ‘Deputy’. This is a costly, cumbersome process which may take up to 6 months.

Why does this matter?

  • No one can access your money until the deputy has been appointed
  • The person the Court select to be your Deputy might not be who you would choose
  • The Court may apply restrictions on what the Deputy can or can’t do
  • Often the Deputy is supervised by the Court incurring even more cost and stress.

But all this is simple to avoid if you make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

After a Will an LPA is arguably the most important document you can have. It gives somebody YOU choose (your Attorney) the legal power to look after your affairs if you can’t.

We all hope that we will not have to use an LPA but the consequences of not having one are too big to ignore.

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