Powers of Attorney
For some people, getting older means more than just experiencing the odd ‘senior moment’. If someone loses the mental capacity to take decisions about their finances and property, there can be serious legal and practical problems.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you appoint people you trust to look after your finances and other affairs if you’re unable to do so. It’s also the only way to get banks, utility companies and other organisations to deal with a third party on your behalf. There are various types to suit your particular requirements:
General Power of Attorney
The simplest form, this lasts for only one year. What’s more, it becomes invalid if the person loses their mental capacity – in other words, when you most need it.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
There are two types of LPA. With a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, you appoint your attorney to look after your property and financial affairs; a Health and Welfare LPA allows them to make decisions about your healthcare and personal welfare.
The person (or people) must act in your best interests. Before they can act, the LPA must be registered with the Court of Protection: we can take care of the formalities.
By taking out an LPA you can:
- give yourself peace of mind by knowing that someone you trust will take of your affairs if you’re ever unable to do so
- give your family peace of mind by knowing they can manage your affairs on your behalf if it ever becomes necessary
If you lose your mental capacity, or become unable to look after your affairs, but don’t have an LPA, the Court of Protection can appoint a Deputy to make decisions on your behalf. This takes time, costs money, and may place your affairs in the hands of someone you would not have chosen yourself.
Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)
A change in the law means it’s no longer possible to take out a new EPA; however, existing ones remain valid. An EPA must be registered with the Court of Protection if the person who made it loses their mental capacity: we can deal with the registration formalities for you.
Whichever type of LPA you choose, we’ll store it securely and free of charge as part of our service.