OPG, refund, scheme, card, money, payment, debit, credit, logo, white, text, logo, willpack

Reminder: Office of the Public Guardian Refund Scheme

By | LPA | No Comments

It has been over six months since the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) announced their power of attorney refund scheme. Recent evidence however shows that only around 15% of those entitled to a refund have applied to the OPG. Due to this, we would like to put out a reminder about the scheme and how clients can apply for a refund. Please note that WillPack is not able to assist with applying for refund. Only the donor, attorney or personal representatives (if the donor is deceased) can apply. Overview Between the period of 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017, the operating costs of the OPG were reduced as their process became more efficient. The OPG’s application fee remained the same and as a result the OPG generated a surplus. The exact amount refundable depends when the power of attorney was registered at the OPG. Registered April to September…

Read More
Hands, jigsaw, puzzle, piece, spit, house, SEV, severance, tenancy, black & white, logo, WillPack

Co-ownership and Severance

By | Property | No Comments

Where more than one person owns property, there are two ways in which the owners may own the equity of the property. Joint Tenants A joint tenancy is the most common and standard method for property to be held. Under a joint tenancy, each owner does not have their own ‘share’ in the property. Instead, all owners equally own the whole property together. If any of the owners die, the deceased’s interest in the property passes automatically to the surviving owners without the need for a Grant of Probate. This is known as the right of survivorship. Due to this, a person’s interest in a property held as joint tenants is not giftable under a Will, as their interest would not form part of their estate on their death. However, once one owner remains they will own the property solely and can deal with it as they wish. Please note…

Read More
hand, trust, executor, trustee, shake, suit, logo, white, text, black

Considerations when appointing Executors or Trustees

By | Executor, Trustees | No Comments

Most testators will usually appoint their surviving spouse or partner, children, close family or friends to act as their executors and trustees. Whilst there is nothing wrong with appointing family members and friends, there are a number of points that a testator may need to be advised of. Personalities Where multiple people are being appointed, they should consider the personalities of those people and relationships between them. It would be highly inadvisable for example to appoint children to act together if it is well known that they do not get along, particularly for appointments as trustees for trusts that may last for a long amount of time, such as a discretionary trust. Location Executors do need to be physically present to deal with the testator’s affairs. Appointing executors who live at the other side of the country or even abroad may not be the best decision if there are other…

Read More
Hammer, LPA, table, Gavel, paper, Attorney, Willpack, Blue, white, logo, text

Paying Fees to an Attorney

By | LPA | No Comments

Reasonable Expenses All attorneys are able to claim reasonable expenses they incur whilst acting for the donor. This includes expenses such as postage, travel costs and the cost of an accountant preparing annual accounts. This does not have to specifically mentioned in the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) itself but could be included should the donor wish. Professional Attorneys There is debate on whether a professional attorney, such as a solicitor or an accountant, could be paid a fee for their services if there is no express power included in the LPA. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) suggest in their PN01 practice note that a professional cannot charge if there is no express power included in the LPA. We would therefore advise that if a professional attorney wishes to charge fees for their services, then a charging clause should be included as an instruction in the LPA. It…

Read More