Government reduces power of attorney application fee by 15%
The Government has announced a 15% cut in the application fee for registering a lasting power of attorney (LPA).
LPAs are legal documents that allow you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions about your welfare or financial affairs if you lose the ability to decide for yourself at some point in the future.
From 1 October this year, the application fee for registering LPAs will be cut from Â£130 to Â£110. The reduction also applies to the older Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA).
Justice Minister Helen Grant said: â€œIt is really important that people consider making a lasting power of attorney â€“ it means that as they get older, or if they have issues with their health, they have the peace of mind from knowing that the important decisions about their life will be taken by someone they know and trust, if they ever lost capacity.â€
Ministers say the reduction has been made possible by increased efficiencies at the Office of the Public Guardian, which manages both LPAs and the older EPAs.
Public Guardian Alan Eccles said: â€œMore and more people are making the important decision to apply for a lasting power of attorney and it is right they receive the best possible service.â€
Please contact us if you would like more information about lasting powers of attorney.
Husband fails to get payments to his former wife reduced
A husband has lost his appeal to have his payments to his former wife reduced even though the coupleâ€™s assets had not been divided equally as part of the divorce settlement.
The case involved a couple in their 30s who had been married for 10 years and had a daughter aged three.
The wife earned Â£28,000 a year as a university researcher. The husband was a lecturer who had been earning Â£75,000 a year but reduced his hours to avoid working weekends so he could see his daughter. This meant a reduction in salary.
The couple owned five properties; the husband lived in one of them and the others were let out.
The judge ordered the husband to make payments to the wife of Â£1,070 per month, to be index linked until the child started secondary school. The judge based her calculation on the assumption that the wife would need to buy a house costing Â£250,000 with a mortgage of Â£100,000 to be funded from the sale of the coupleâ€™s properties.
She divided the coupleâ€™s assets so that 30% went to the husband and 70% to the wife. The husband would also keep the flat in which he lived and retain his savings of Â£10,500.
The husband appealed saying that the judge had overlooked the fact that the wifeâ€™s childcare costs would decrease once their daughter started school. She had also failed to base her judgment on his reduced salary without overtime, and had erred in making a periodical payments order because the wife intended to rent a home and so would have her income boosted by rental income from two properties she would not have to sell.
The Court of Appeal rejected the husbandâ€™s submissions. It held that the judge could not be criticised for deciding that the childcare costs would not decrease significantly before the daughter started secondary school. The judge had considered the wife and child, and concluded that their needs could not be met unless the wife had access to more than half the family assets.
Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.