Money’s Gold Medallist: Office of the Public Guardian

This week, we hear from Roger Manning, 81, a former aeronautics engineer who worked for the RAF and Nato. He is full of praise for the Office of the Public Guardian.

Roger and his wife, Ruth, 75, wanted to set up lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) for their four children, Michael, 53, Dominic, 51, Ann, 49, and Mary, 47.

The Mannings, from Weybridge in Surrey, wanted to make things easier for their children when dealing with banks or other organisations on their behalf in the future.

Roger, who also has five grandchildren aged 17 to 22, said: “I’ve clocked up more than 80 years, so my family sent in our youngest daughter, Mary, to get me organised.

“On January 12, after Mary had sat down for two hours at the computer, armed with my wife’s credit card, we had four LPAs ready for signature and had spent £440.

“I was impressed she was able to go online and, within two hours, have the fees paid and all four LPAs printed out and ready for signature. We got our witnesses to sign on January 16 and handed back the LPAs to Mary during her next visit, on January 20.

“My wife and I will act as attorneys for each other, but the LPAs still had to be signed by the four other attorneys (our children), which involved some mailing, but everything was complete by February 6, and they were sent to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

“The LPAs were registered on March 6 — within six weeks of receipt by the OPG. Everything was back by March 25, 72 days after Mary had sat down at our computer.

“The OPG must be congratulated: it has a straightforward system that works smoothly.

“What were the lessons learnt? First, one must study the whole matter and make the important decisions in advance; for example, we decided that the attorneys should work jointly and severally. Second, it is very useful to have a youngest daughter!”