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New laws will raise costs for attorney move

Financial advisers could use the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2007 coming into force this year to help to establish professional connections, says Standard Life.

Estate planning specialist Julie Hutchison says in Scotland the cost of registering a power of attorney is around 35 but the cost in England is expected to be over 100.

Last November, Standard published research showing that 74 per cent of people have not drawn up plans for power of attorney and Hutchison says the new act could discourage people further because of the costs involved.

She says: “The impact is that people will be even less inclined to register because of the increased costs. Advisers should start discussing this with their clients now.”

At present, registration is only required if people become incapacitated but with the new act, powers of attorney can be granted in advance, which Hutchison says allows for continuing relationships between IFAs, solicitors and their clients and families.

The enduring powers of attorney will be replaced by lasting powers of attorney, allowing an attorney to act on someone’s behalf in the future.

EPAs tend to deal only with financial matters while LPAs can also take care of other matters such as healthcare and welfare.

Hutchison says: “With regard to financial services, IFAs encouraging their clients to take out powers of attorney ahead of the act will reduce the cost and also ensure a better continuation of client relationships. For the IFAs directly, it will open up a fresh opportunity for new business, acting as an introducer to solicitors.”

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