Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to choose someone now (a spouse, relative or friend), who you trust, to make decisions on your behalf about things such as your property and financial affairs, or your health and welfare, at a time in the future when you no longer wish to make those decisions, or should you lack the mental capacity due to illness, accident or the advancement of old age, to make those decisions yourself.
There are two types of lasting power of attorney available - one covering your property and financial affairs, and the other covering your personal welfare:
Lasting Power of Attorney - Property & Affairs
This type of lasting power of attorney allows those designated by you, your Attorney(s), to make decisions and take the appropriate actions on your behalf in respect of your property and financial affairs.
Your designated Attorney(s) can manage your finances and property whilst you still have capacity as well as when you lack the capacity to do so - the choice is yours.
You can decide what powers and the extent of the powers you give to your Attorney(s) when making decisions about any or all of your property and financial matters. This may include paying bills, collecting benefits etc.
Lasting Power of Attorney - Personal Welfare
A personal welfare lasting power of attorney allows you to plan ahead with regard to your personal health care and welfare by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf.
These personal welfare decisions can only be taken by your designated Attorney(s) when you lack the ability to make decisions regarding your treatment or other personal matters for yourself. This could result from conditions such as dementia, or if you are unconscious following an accident.
You can decide to give your Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about any or all of your personal welfare matters, including health care issues. This could involve some important decisions, such as giving or refusing consent to medical treatments etc, or in respect of the need for residential care.
The Value of Lasting Powers of Attorney
By drafting a lasting power of attorney now, you are simply providing those you trust with a legal document which will allow them to manage your affairs on your behalf should you ever reach a point when you are unable to manage them yourself.
Not having such arrangements will mean it is necessary for someone to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy to manage your affairs, under the supervision of the Court. This process will prove far more expensive and less satisfactory than choosing you own attorneys in advance.
Help and Advice:
Should you have any questions or require help with reviewing your Will, Ethical Investors Group have developed a relationship with Assurewills Limited, a dedicated Will writing and estate planning company, who we are delighted to recommend. Michael Clarkson at Assurewills can be contacted as follows:
Tele: 01223 967477