How much does it cost to register an LPA?
Obviously costs change over time but at the time of making this video (May 2018) and updating this text (May 2020) they were still correct. To register an LPA you have to send the documents off to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) who currently charge £82 per LPA - note this is not per Attorney see this video about whether adding more Attorneys affects your costs.
Before we get started lets just summarise that there are two types of lasting power of attorney that an individual can take out; Property and Finances & Health and Welfare. So when we talk about the registration fee, we mean per LPA, that is for each individual document. As an example, a couple wanting to do both types of LPA each, that is four LPAs in total and therefore four lots of registration fees to pay.
The standard fee of £82 can be reduced by 50% if you can prove that your individual income is under £12,000 per annum. For the purposes of this, income does include all benefits such as Attendance Allowance, Carer's Allowance etc. So please bear this in mind when calculating your yearly income. You must also include income generated from savings and investments.
To clarify here, when I say individual income, I really do mean individual income. Often I try to explain the income rules to a couple and they rules themselves out becuase their joint income is £20,000 per annum. Joint income is not requested, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) want to know how much money is received per year by the individual applying. With a couple therefore you often find one has income under £12k per annum and therefore gets the 50% reduction, whilst the other has over 12k income and pays the full £82 fee.
The OPG go further for applicants who receive certain benefits by granting them complete exemption from paying a registration fee. There are quite a number of benefits that might apply but I'm going to cover the most common couple which tend to get clients the most success:
Council Tax Benefit
Those in receipt of full Council Tax benefit will nearly always received fee exemption. Just to clarify here that the single person 25% reduction is not applicable. The easy way to tell is by checking the Council Tax bill/statement that we all get at the start the new tax year. It will detail all of the elements and costs that go into your specific Council Tax bill but if you look at the bottom and the bill total is zero, it indicates you receive the benefit. Don't celebrate just yet, this will be no use for the LPA if you get the Council Tax benefit under a class U exemption (which related to mental impairment, click here for more information)
For this one you would need to check the applicants state pension statement which is received at the start of every tax year to see if they receive the Guarantee Credit element of a State Pension Credit. That is to say just receiving a State Pension Credit alone isn't enough, it needs to contain the Guarantee Credit element which is a bit of a little "top up". Usually it is fairly easy to spot but you can feel free to contact me and I will take a look for you.
NOT Attendance Allowance (AA)
A lot of people receive AA but just to make it clear this is not an accepted benefit for LPA exemption.