In the scenario described above, it would have been of great benefit for Bill to have in place the Property and Finance Lasting Power of Attorney.
The Property and Finance form goes in to place upon registration at the Office of Public Guardian and the donor does not need to have lost mental capacity for it to be used.
The Property and Finance Power of Attorney allows your attorneys to take control of your financial affairs such as paying bills, investing your money and selling your home. Some donors are nervous to put this in place as they worry family members may have the wrong intentions, however, as the donor you can place restrictions upon their capacity as an attorney.
If the above had been in place, Claire and Tim would have easily been able to apply for Grant of Probate in their names and deal with the finances on behalf of Bill. The time-scale in applying for Grant of Probate would be extensively reduced. In comparison to an application to the Court of Protection, the cost of a Lasting Power of Attorney is much cheaper. The application fee is £82 per form (i.e. £82 for Property and Finance and £82 for Health and Welfare). In addition, legal professionals will normally charge on a fixed fee basis as there is no ambiguity as to the work involved. There are also no bonds to be put in place.