Power of Attorney

// what to do if you can no longer manage your affairs.

A Power of Attorney is a legal document allowing someone else to make decisions for you. There are a number of reasons you may wish to set up a Power of Attorney for example, it could be temporary and you just require help whilst in hospital. You may also require a longer term plan for example, you’ve been diagnosed with dementia and know that in the future you will require someone to permanently act on your behalf. A Lasting Power of Attorney will allow someone to make financial and/or medical decisions for you but can only be set up whilst you still have the mental capacity to do so. If you have lost mental capacity the Court of Protection will appoint a Deputy.

Thinking about the future may be hard but having a plan in place early on will make it easier and less expensive for someone to help you once you have lost mental capacity; it will also put your mind at ease. A Lasting Power of Attorney will only come into effect once it has been signed and registered with the office of the Public Guardian or from a specified date. It can also take up to 4-6 weeks to register, which is another reason to be prepared early.

There are different types of Power of Attorney, which our probate solicitors can talk you through and advise on the best plan for you. They will discuss all the options available and tailor the document based on your needs, such as restricting the types of decisions that can be made and giving special permissions for such things as life-saving treatment.

Powers of Attorney
Type What does it cover?
Ordinary Power of Attorney
Property & financial affairs and is valid while you have mental capacity. For example if you are finding it hard getting out and you require someone to act on your behalf.
Lasting Power of Attorney  (LPA)
Property & finances and/or your health & welfare, which you can choose to have one or both. This only comes into effect if you lose mental capacity or you no longer want to make decisions for yourself.
Enduring  Power of Attorney (EPA)
Property & finances if you lose mental capacity. This option was replaced by LPA’s in October 2007. However, if it was made and signed before 1st October 2007, it should still be valid.
What does a Powers of Attorney cover?
Property & Financial Decisions Health & Welfare Decisions
Buying and selling property Where you should live
Paying the mortgage Your medical care
Investing money What you should eat
Paying bills Who you should have contact with
Arranging repairs to property What social activities you should take part in

For more information on how to appoint a Power of Attorney, speak to one of our experience probate solicitors.