Are you one of many people who believe that if you lose capacity, your spouse or family will automatically have the authority to deal with their finances, health and welfare decisions? Unfortunately, that is not the case. You need to have Powers of Attorney in place in order for people of your choice to have the necessary authority to deal with your finances and/or welfare.
Powers of Attorney allow you to authorise someone you trust (your attorney(s)) to step into your shoes and make decisions on your behalf. Contrary to common belief, Powers of Attorney are not just for the elderly. We never know what is around the corner. To help protect yourself and make it easier for your loved ones should you lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions, we advise that every adult should have Lasting Powers of Attorney. However, Powers of Attorney are extremely powerful documents and you need to ensure you know exactly what you are entering into before you sign one. Our devoted Lasting Powers of Attorney Solicitors can advise you on all aspects of the following:
- General Power of Attorney;
- Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs;
- Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare;
- Advance Decision (also known as a Living Will);
- Lasting Power of Attorney for Business.
Please click on the links above to find out more about each type of Powers of Attorney or alternatively click here to contact us for more information.
If there is no Lasting Power of Attorney in place, your family may be forced to apply for a Deputyship Order from the Court of Protection, which is costly, takes much longer and requires a lot more administration by the appointed deputy. Please click here to find out about Deputyship applications.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Since October 2007, it has not been possible to put in place a new Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) or to make changes to an existing one. However, EPAs signed before that date are generally valid if they are correctly drafted and signed. If you have a valid EPA, your Attorney will have register it with the Office of the Public Guardian when you start to lose or have lost your mental capacity to deal with your own affairs.
We can assist you with the registration process, and the preparation of all application documentation including notices.
General Powers of Attorney
General Powers of Attorney can be very useful if you need someone to act on your behalf to carry out particular tasks, such as take your place in dealing with a particular transaction. They are only valid when you have mental capacity and can be helpful if you need something done that cannot be delayed until a Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered. We can advise you on the implications of entering into a General Powers of Attorney and draft the required documentation.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Business
If you run a business and find yourself in a position where you lose mental capacity, you will need someone to make daily decisions and manage the business for you. In order to do this, you will need a Lasting Power of Attorney for business in place. If not, your business could suffer whilst an application is made to the Court of Protection to appoint someone to act on your behalf.
We can assist you in putting in place a Business Lasting Power of Attorney so that you can be sure that someone you trust is appointed as your attorney to run your business when you are not able to. The LPA for business allows you to provide guidance and information to your attorney(s) on how you want them to act and which decisions they can make on your behalf.
Should you have any questions regarding Powers of Attorneys, please contact either Claire Binyon or Habiba Ahmed to discuss any of the above. We can talk you through all your options so that you can make the best decision to suit your particular needs.