Create a Will

If you want to be in control of what goes to who after you’re gone, you need to make a will!

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Lasting Power of Attorney

Who do you want to be in charge if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself? How do you want decisions to be made for you?

It makes good sense to prepare for for this by making a Lasting Power of Attorney.

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LPA – the process

So you have decided to get a lasting power of attorney? Excellent, we commend you on your good sense. Now read below to get an idea of the next steps.

Choose how many attorneys you are going to have

You only need one attorney but we advise you to get more than one where possible. This is for the rather obvious reason that  if your one and attorney dies or loses capacity themselves, the LPA will become invalid.

If you choose to have more, you need to decide whether they will act jointly or severally. Again, it’s advisable to have them act severally in case one loses capacity or dies.

Choose who will act as your attorney(s)

Your attorney needs to be 18 or over, cannot be bankrupt or be subject to a debt relief order, otherwise you are free to chose anyone to be your attorney.

Obviously this person will be making decisions on your behalf, so you must be able to trust that person implicitly.

Choose the certificate provider

As an important safeguard against abuse, one of the requirements in making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is for the document to be countersigned by an independent person (the certificate provider) chosen by the donor (the person granting the LPA (you)) to confirm that in his or her opinion:
1. the donor understands the purpose of the LPA and the scope of the authority
being given to the attorney(s);

2. the donor is not under any undue pressure or duress to make the LPA or
has not been tricked into making it; and

3. there is nothing else that would prevent a valid LPA from being created.

Who can act as a certificate provider?

Essentially you have a choice of using a professional adviser or someone who has known you for a minimum of two years. There are some restrictions on those who cannot act as a certificate provider and you can find more detail in our ‘Acting as a Certificate Provider‘ document.

Prepare the application

You can make a lasting power of attorney (LPA) online or using paper forms.

Either way, you need to get other people to sign the forms, including the attorneys and witnesses.

You can get someone else to use the online service or fill in the paper forms for you, for example a family member, friend or solicitor.

You must register your LPA or your attorney won’t be able to make decisions for you.

Signing the forms

You need to sign the forms before you send them off. They also need to be signed by:

  • the attorneys
  • witnesses
  • a ‘certificate provider’, who confirms you’re making the LPA by choice and you understand what you’re doing

Who can be a witness

Witnesses and certificate providers must be 18 or over.

Attorneys can witness each other sign, but they can’t:

  • witness you sign
  • sign as the certificate provider

You can’t be a witness if you’re the person appointing an attorney.

Register a lasting power of attorney

When you’ve made your lasting power of attorney (LPA), you need to register it with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

If you made an LPA online, you may have registered it at the same time. It’s registered when OPG has stamped it with ‘VALIDATED-OPG’.

It takes between 8 and 10 weeks to register an LPA if there are no mistakes in the application.

You can apply to register your LPA yourself if you’re able to make your own decisions.

Your attorney can also register it for you. You’ll be told if they do and you can object to the registration.

Notify people

Before you register, send a form to notify people (LP3) to all the ‘people to notify’ (also called ‘people to be told’) you listed in the LPA.

They’ll have 3 weeks to raise any concerns with OPG.

If you’re using the online service to make and register an LPA, it will create and fill in the LP3 forms for you.

How to register

Apply to register as soon as you’ve sent forms to notify people.

The way you register depends on how you made your LPA:

  • use the online service, if that’s what you used to make your LPA
  • fill in sections 12 to 15 of your form if you made your LPA using paper forms LP1F or LP1H

If you’re using a paper form to register, you need to sign it and send it to OPG.

Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 16185
B2 2WH

The address is also on the form. Make sure you include the original LPA form and the fee.

You can send a certified copy if you don’t have the original form. Write a covering letter to explain why you don’t have the original.

If you made your LPA with an older paper form

You can register by filling in form LP2 if you made your LPA:

  • on forms LPA114 or LPA117 before 1 January 2016
  • on forms LP PA or LP PW before 1 April 2011

Otherwise you’ll need to make a new LPA.

How much it costs

It costs £82 to register each LPA unless you get a reduction or exemption.

This means it costs £164 to register both a property and financial affairs LPAand a health and welfare LPA.

You can pay by:

  • credit or debit card – OPG will contact you to process the payment
  • cheque

Make your cheque payable to ‘Office of the Public Guardian’ and write your name on the back. Send it to OPG with your forms.

If you make a mistake on your form

Depending on the type of mistake, OPG may let you correct it and apply again within 3 months for £41.

Get a reduction or exemption

You can apply for a reduction if you earn less than £12,000. You might also be able to apply for an exemption if you’re on certain benefits, such as Income Support.

Severance of Tenancy

Severing a joint tenancy is the process by which a joint tenancy is converted into a tenancy in common. Most house ‘co-owners’ own their home as ‘joint tenants’. This means that if one joint owner dies, the survivor would own the total value outright, irrespective of what might be written in a will. Furthermore, the whole value would be means-tested where care costs are assessed.

There is an alternative method of ownership, known as ‘tenancy in common’. This means that each of the ‘co-owners’ owns a share of the property and can deal with it as they wish. To make this change from a joint tenancy, there must be a Severance of Tenancy agreement between the owners that is recorded at the Land Registry. To effect this change, all owners sign a Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy, which is then stored with the deeds relating to the property.

Benefits of a Severance of Tenancy

A Severance of Tenancy allows a co-owner of a property to dispose of their share in the property as they see fit through a will. A Severance of Tenancy agreement may also be used as part of an inheritance tax avoidance strategy. In addition, it assists with reducing exposure to “the cost of care”.

Features of a Severance of Tenancy

Property may be owned by more than one person, either as joint owners or as owners in common. Upon the death of one joint owner, their share passes, by survivorship, to the surviving owner regardless of their wishes as expressed in their will. Upon the death of an owner in common, however, their share is passed on in accordance with their wishes as expressed in their will.


I needed someone to help us complete a Lasting Power of Attorney for my father. Rupert from FoxKnox visited him at home, went through all the paperwork and the whole thing was sorted really quick. The service was wonderful and at a great price.  Tom A, Whitechapel

We have been using FoxKnox for a number of years and found their service to be excellent. Every member of staff we have dealt with has been friendly and professional. We have recommended them to our friends and family. Elizabeth C, Surrey




Son whose late mother told him her £725,000 fortune was ‘all yours’ is now locked in a bitter court battle with her ex-boyfriend after he launched a claim for more than half of the inheritance

An only son who was told by his late mother ‘it’s all yours’ is locked in a court fight over his £725,000 inheritance after her last boyfriend launched a claim for a share.

James Campbell, 35, says his late mother Sarah – with whom he had an ‘extremely close and loving relationship’ – promised he would have everything when she died.

He also claims her will, drawn up 14 years before her death in 2015, handed most of her estate – including the keys to his childhood home – to the son she ‘adored’.

Mr Banfield says he and Mrs Campbell lived as ‘husband and wife’ for more than 20 years before her death and he needs a payout from her estate to buy his own home.

However, Mr Campbell says Mr Banfield has plenty of money of his own and denies the relationship between his mother and the pensioner was as close as he says.

Although they had been an item in earlier days, he claims his mum was unhappy at Mr Banfield’s ‘sedentary’ lifestyle and he was more like a ‘lodger’ to her.

He lived entirely in the front room of their home in Thames Ditton, Surrey, sleeping in a chair, while his mother spent most of her time ‘in the kitchen’, said Mr Campbell.

He told the court: ‘She told me on several occasions that all she wanted me to do was to find a lovely woman, buy a house, settle down and have a family.

‘It’s what my mother wanted. It was my father’s house and then my mum’s house and my mother left it to me.’

The court heard that all agree that Mr Banfield’s relationship with Mrs Campbell began in the early 1990s after the death of Mr Campbell’s father.

Dog-lover Mr Banfield claims to have moved into her Thames Ditton home in 1993 and that they became engaged in 1999.

From then until her death, they lived as a couple, with her partially maintaining him in her home.

But Mr Campbell denies there was ever an engagement and says Mr Banfield did not move in until 2002.

The relationship, although at first romantic, was more akin to lodger and landlady as the years went on, he claims.

They slept separately, with ‘sedentary and obese’ Mr Banfield in the living room on a chair, he said.

‘My mother was the life and soul of every party and had a very active social life, which disappeared around when Andy moved in,’ said the son.

But, accused of being ‘reclusive’ and expecting to be ‘waited on hand and foot’, Mr Banfield said the claims were ‘ridiculous’.

‘They’re making all this up,’ said the pensioner.

For Mr Campbell, barrister Elaine Palser said his mother made it clear she wanted her money and her house to go to her only child.

‘He and Mrs Campbell had an extremely close and loving relationship, it was her long-term desire that he inherit the property,’ she told Judge Paul Teverson.

‘This was his childhood home and he lived there – apart from a short stint away – until he moved into rented accommodation with his girlfriend in 2015, just before his mother’s unexpected death.’

She continued: ‘Mrs Campbell wrote to her son before making the will saying how much she adored him and that her estate “is all yours”. She told her friends the property was James’.’

Ms Palser argued that Mr Banfield is not entitled to anything from the estate, beyond a £5,000 gift which Mrs Campbell left him in her will.

And he does not need it anyway, as he has money and an income of his own with which to buy or rent a property, she claimed.

‘He is far better off than James, with substantial capital and a very healthy annual income surplus,’ she told the judge.

‘James and his fiancee Octavia Gray would love to buy a property large enough to start a family.’

Representing Mr Banfield, barrister Rory Brown said he deserved to be awarded ‘reasonable provision’ from his former partner’s estate.

He suggested that Mr Campbell simply ‘didn’t like to think’ of his mother sharing a bed with Mr Banfield.She may have protected him from the fact of their relationship by not talking about it.

‘The truth is your mother knew the new relationship was difficult for you and she naturally spoke to her friends about the realities and sheltered you from them, didn’t she?’ the barrister put to Mr Campbell.

Mr Campbell replied: ‘That’s not the case.’

Mr Brown also disputed the claim that Mr Banfield paid nothing towards the household while living with Mrs Campbell.

He had paid council tax, electricity bills, the TV licence and for their annual Canary Island holidays, he said.

Mr Banfield’s sedentary lifestyle was because he has mobility problems, said the barrister, and it did not have any impact on Mrs Campbell’s health.

‘The reality is she had her own health problems that contributed to her untimely and premature death,’ he said.

‘She preferred to have that lifestyle. She preferred to live with Mr Banfield.’

The court heard Mr Banfield claims he needs at least £420,000 to buy a suitable property in the village. The hearing continues.

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Calls for complete overhaul of ‘unfit’ inheritance tax system

Inheritance tax should be scrapped, and replaced with a fairer system that would be harder to dodge, thinktank the Resolution Foundation has said.

In its latest report into how to tackle unfairness between the generations, the thinktank, chaired by former Conservative minister David Willetts, says inheritance tax is by far the most unpopular tax.

Despite being levied only on the largest 4% of estates, and raising just 77p of every £100 of taxation, it is widely regarded by the public as unfair.

Adam Corlett, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation and the report’s author, said: “Inheritances are already worth over £100bn a year, and their doubling over the next 20 years means they are going to play an even larger role in shaping British society.

“But the current system of inheritance tax is not fit to deal with this societal shift. It currently manages the uniquely bad twin feat of being both wildly unpopular and raising very little revenue.”

Instead, Resolution proposes a “lifetime receipts tax”, that could allow beneficiaries to inherit a lump sum before they paid any tax on it – and potentially raise extra revenue for the Treasury.

Its analysis suggests by setting such a lifetime limit at £125,000, and then levying inheritance tax at a lower rate of 20% up to £500,000 and 30% after that, the government could still raise an extra £5bn by 2020-21.

Taxing individual recipients of bequests rather than the estate as a whole, could also give parents an incentive to spread their largesse more widely.

The thinktank warns that inheritance tax is too easy to avoid, in part because of reliefs, including those for capital held in agricultural land and shares on the hi-tech AIM market.

These exemptions, which cost the Treasury £1bn a year, were intended to protect farmers from having to break up their estates and encourage entrepreneurial investment. But Resolution claims they are widely abused as a way of avoiding inheritance tax.

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Carer who guided dying millionaire’s hand is stripped of windfall

A carer who ‘guided the hand’ of a dying millionaire as he signed over almost half his £1million fortune to her family has been stripped of the windfall.

The former financier, of South Woodford, East London, had already made a will in 2008, dividing his estate between his immediate family and a close friend, and leaving nothing to Mrs Henderson.

But that was before the carer ‘took control of his life and excluded his siblings’ during the final year before he died, London’s High Court heard.

The ‘surprising’ deathbed will – dated May 9 2014, just two days before Marcel died aged 73 – left 40 per cent of his wealth to Mrs Henderson and her children.

But at the High Court judge Nigel Price has now ruled the will invalid and left the carer with nothing but £85,000 in legal costs.

A handwriting expert had concluded that the signature on the will was not Marcel’s.

And, given his condition, the dying millionaire lacked mental capacity when the document was signed, the judge ruled.

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