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Lasting Power of Attorney vs. Deputyship: A Thorough Comparison

A man stressing out over paper work

When it comes to deciding how to handle the affairs of someone who lacks mental capacity, two legal options stand out: Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and Deputyship. It's crucial to understand the distinctions between these choices, considering factors such as cost, ongoing financial implications, emotional impact, and the scrutiny families may face during the decision-making process.

Cost Considerations:

1. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):

  • Formation Expenses: Individuals can create LPAs independently or with legal guidance, incurring nominal registration fees.

  • Control Over Costs: The person establishing the LPA maintains control over initial expenses, deciding whether to seek professional assistance.

2. Deputyship:

  • Court Fees: Deputyship involves court proceedings, resulting in higher initial costs including application fees.

  • Legal Representation: Professional representation may be necessary, incurring additional fees.

a couple calculating the cost of deputyship

Ongoing Costs:

1. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):

  • Limited Ongoing Costs: Once the LPA is registered, ongoing costs are generally minimal.

  • Potential Legal Advice: Individuals may choose to seek legal advice periodically, incurring additional fees.

2. Deputyship:

  • Annual Supervision Fees: Deputies are subject to ongoing supervision by the Office of the Public Guardian, incurring annual fees.

  • Legal Representation: Continued legal support may be required, contributing to ongoing costs.

Emotional Impact:

1. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):

  • Empowerment: Creating an LPA allows individuals to choose someone they trust to make decisions on their behalf.

  • Earlier Planning: The process encourages individuals to plan for potential incapacity while they have mental capacity.

2. Deputyship:

  • Court Involvement: The court appoints a deputy, which may feel more formal and less personal than choosing one through an LPA.

  • Potential Delays: Court proceedings may cause delays in decision-making, adding stress to an already challenging situation.

Scrutiny on the Family:

1. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):

  • Private Arrangement: The LPA process is private, involving only those directly concerned.

  • Reduced Scrutiny: Families experience less external scrutiny as decisions are made within the framework established by the LPA.

2. Deputyship:

  • Court Oversight: Deputyship involves ongoing court supervision, which can lead to increased scrutiny.

  • Transparency Requirements: Deputies may need to provide regular reports to the court, impacting family privacy.

In choosing between Lasting Power of Attorney and Deputyship, individuals need to weigh the initial and ongoing costs, consider the emotional impact on all parties involved, and be aware of the level of scrutiny imposed on family decisions. While both options serve the important purpose of ensuring the well-being of those who lack capacity, understanding these distinctions can empower individuals to make informed decisions aligned with their values and preferences.

If you’re looking to write your will, lasting power of attorney or want to learn more about Lifetime Trusts book an appointment with Joshua Young. I am A Will Writer covering Farnborough, Basingstoke, Camberley, Aldershot and the surrounding areas.


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