How Much Should Power of Attorney Cost?

With an array of different options on offer, it can be difficult to know how much creating Power of Attorney should cost. Should you do it yourself for free, or use a solicitor?

Read our guide on Power of Attorney to get a rundown of what costs are involved and the best and most cost-effective way of creating Power of Attorney.

1) Summary in 30 Seconds

  • You can download and fill out the Power of Attorney forms yourself for free. The Public Guardian also provides a free how-to guide to assist you.
  • If you need help or have a complex situation, you may need a solicitor. Prices vary, but you can expect to pay somewhere between £250-400 for Lasting Power of Attorney.
  • Those who need Power of Attorney should not procrastinate getting it done. If you leave it too late, your loved one may not have the mental capacity to fill out the forms.
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2) How Much Should Power of Attorney Cost?

A quick Google search will give you hundreds of results for “power of attorney” – how to do it yourself, how to do it online, quotes from solicitors, and more. It can be a bit daunting at first. Especially if you think you might need assistance with the process. Costs are a big factor for a lot of people when deciding on how to get legal documents made. But it shouldn’t be your only consideration.

Creating Power of Attorney, either for yourself or someone else, is a very serious thing and should not be taken lightly. As well as your budget, make sure you know exactly what you need. For instance, if you are continually running into things you don’t understand, take this as a sign that you need assistance from an expert.

 

  • Do It Yourself. The Power of Attorney forms are provided for download and printing through the Public Guardian website. They also provide a free guide on how to fill out the forms and register them with the Public Guardian. If your situation is quite straightforward or you are familiar with forms already, you can do this yourself. This, of course, would be free.
  • Using a Solicitor. Solicitor’s fees can differ wildly, and some will offer a combined fee for both Power of Attorney forms. You can expect to pay on average somewhere between £250-£400

Whether or not you use a solicitor or do it yourself, you will also have to pay the registration fees to the Public Guardian.

This costs £82 per Power of Attorney form (£164 for the 2). If there are any mistakes or amendments you have to make, it costs £41 each to re-register them. If you are on low income, you can apply for the fees to be reduced or even entirely free.

3) Should You Use a Solicitor?

So what is the benefit of handing over hundreds of pounds to a solicitor? It will depend on your situation, but there may be more reasons than you might initially think.

  • Expert legal advice. Power of Attorney is a very important document. If registered, you are handing over an enormous amount of control to someone else to deal with your finances and property, and maybe your health and general day-to-day needs as well. The Power of Attorney forms give you a lot of control over the terms of this arrangement. For example, setting restrictions over what your Attorney(s) can do or not do; if you have more than one Attorney, then how they would work together, and so on. 

However, you may struggle to express your wishes or preferences in a clear way. If you do not express them clearly, you may have Power that is difficult for your Attorney(s) to work with, or even impossible. This could lead to your Power of Attorney being cancelled. If you do not have mental capacity at this point, your loved ones would have to begin the long and expensive process of getting Deputyship through an application to the Court of Protection. So it is very important that your Power of Attorney clearly expresses your needs and preferences. A solicitor can help to translate your wishes into a Power of Attorney document that is workable.

 

  • Assistance with complex situations. If you have a complex family situation or finances, you may not be able to create Power of Attorney without legal help. As mentioned above, by doing it yourself you risk many potential issues in the future which could affect your family and your money. 

Additionally, if you have a situation of some complexity, you need to make sure you are sufficiently protected if issues could arise in the future. For example, many people create Power of Attorney when they are in the early stages of Dementia or Alzheimer’s. If someone’s mental capacity was already beginning to deteriorate at the time of creation, you will need to have clear evidence that they had the necessary capacity to create this Power of their own volition and without undue pressure or influence from anybody else.

Solicitors have a professional reputation to uphold, as well as a responsibility to their clients. Therefore they maintain detailed records of all meetings. This especially includes meetings with the Donor to ensure they have capacity. If necessary, they will recommend that the Donor’s capacity is also verified by a doctor. This ensures that if someone contests the Power in the future, there is clear evidence that everything was above board.

 

  • Professional help. Your Attorney(s) may act for you for many years, and at some point issues could arise. A solicitor will be available to provide on-going assistance and legal advice as and when you or your Attorneys need it. Of course, you can get legal advice regarding Power of Attorney from many different solicitors. But it can be helpful to speak with someone who has a detailed knowledge of your situation. They are in the best place to advise you. 

4) What You Can Do Next

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So where to begin? Here are a few tips from us to get started.

  • Don’t procrastinate. Most people see the benefit of having Power of Attorney in place, but put it off until a later date. But if you leave it too late to get this sorted, either for you or a loved one, you risk being unable to have the capacity. Having Power of Attorney is about preparing ahead for the future and what might arise – once you need it, it’s too late. 
  • Decide whether you need a solicitor or not. If you are going back and forth about whether to use a solicitor, download and read through the Power of Attorney forms. This will give you a good idea of what is involved. If you read makes you think it is out of your depth, you probably need a solicitor. 
  • Find a solicitor. If you have decided you need help, find a solicitor and book an appointment for a consultation. We can help with that. We offer free initial advice on Power of Attorney and other estate planning matters. Call us on 0800 678 5079, or use the form link down below. 
  • Speak to your loved ones. It’s important that your loved ones know what you are planning to do. They may want to help, or they may be worried for you and what Power of Attorney might entail. There are lots of horror stories in the news about vulnerable people being taken advantage of through scheming Attorney(s). You may need to put their minds at rest about some of these fears. It is better to speak to them now and sort out any issues they might have instead of leaving it until you are about to register the forms – they may contest it because they are worried for you. So discuss it with them if you are able to. 

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