Loss of mental capacity in later life (possibly through dementia, Alzheimer’s or another medical condition) can be incredibly scary. In order to protect themselves in the future, individuals can plan in advance for such instances, and there are various legal routes that can be used to prepare for this situation. The Lasting Power of Attorney is the most flexible and up to date with these mechanisms.
A Lasting Power of Attorney can relate to an individual’s finances or their health and welfare. A Lasting Power of Attorney allows someone to give another person (known as his or her attorney) the right to legally deal with his or her affairs and make decisions on his or her behalf. By creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, the person is able to choose who is given control over their decisions. Without one, the matter has to go through the Court of Protection and the person that applies may not have been the one you would have chosen. Enduring Powers of Attorneys have now been abolished (although those created before October 2007 still remain valid). Our specialist lawyers can advise you on a Lasting Power of Attorney so that it properly reflects and protects your needs and interests in the future. They can also assist elected attorneys on their role and responsibilities.
What are the types of Lasting Power of Attorney?
There are two Lasting Power of Attorneys that you can complete:
- A Health and Welfare Power of Attorney, which is where you can choose one or more persons to make decisions on your behalf regarding issues such as medical care, life-sustaining treatment or whether you are moved into a care home. It can also be used to cover the individual’s day-to-day care and where they should live, as well as assessments for the provisions of community care services. It is possible to state what type of medical treatment you do or do not want and allows you to have a say in your future care.
- A Property and Financial Affairs Power of Attorney, which is where you can choose one or more persons to make decisions in relation to your money and property. For example, they can pay bills and taxes and collect benefits on your behalf, pay school fees, receive income or inheritance on behalf of your behalf, make gifts to others on your behalf and sell your house.
A person can choose to have both types of Lasting Power of Attorney at the same time. It is also possible to restrict or specify the types of decision that an attorney can make on your behalf or you can decide that they can make all decisions without any restrictions. There can be more than one person named to make decisions for different aspects of the Lasting Power of Attorney. It is also possible to state that all decisions have to be made jointly by all attorneys.
A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and can only come into force once the donor no longer has mental capacity. The powers contained in them are specific to the needs of the individual that it relates to.
With a Financial Lasting Power of Attorney, they can come into force as soon as it is registered or only once the individual no longer has mental capacity. The attorney has to ensure that they keep full financial accounts and that your money is kept completely separate from their own. Those that own businesses can use a Lasting Power of Attorney as a vital tool in business contingencies and many insurance companies are requiring that they are used.
Contact our Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors, Alderley Edge, Cheshire
Our specialist lawyers work can advise you on all aspects of a Lasting Power of Attorney to ensure they comply with what you require in your circumstances and are legally valid. In addition, we can provide guidance and advise attorneys on their duties, should they be elected via a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Call now on 01625 460 281 for a no-obligation consultation from one of our expert lawyers. Alternatively, you can complete our online enquiry form.