The fee for registering a Lasting Power of Attorney has dropped from £110 to £82, in a move the Government hopes will encourage more people to draw up plans in case they lose mental capacity.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows a person to nominate a trusted friend or relative to look after their affairs if they lose capacity.
There are two types of LPA: one for finance and property, another for health and welfare. These are separate documents, and from this month it costs £82 to register each one in England and Wales (£164 in total, if you choose to set up both).
Lasting Power of Attorney replaced the previous Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) system. EPAs set up before 1 October 2007 are still valid, whether or not they have been registered, though they must be registered when a person loses capacity, which now also costs £82 instead of £110.
There's a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Scotland it costs £75 to register a power of attorney, and it's £115 in Northern Ireland.
Explaining the reduction in fees, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "With an ageing population and rise in dementia, we are delighted over two million people have registered powers of attorney.
"This unprecedented success has allowed us to review the fees charged for using the service.
"We hope these lower fees will encourage even more people to take this important step and plan for the future."
Why set up a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you lose mental capacity, unless you've already filled in the Power of Attorney forms, your loved ones would need to apply through court to become 'deputy' in order to manage your affairs and access your money, even if it is to pay for your care. This can be a long and expensive process.
By setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can nominate a trusted friend or relative before you lose capacity. For more information and full step-by-step instructions, see our Power of Attorney guide.