Do you need to give someone else authority to manage your affairs when you’re not available to do so? If so, our Power of Attorney solicitors can help.
Power of Attorney
An ordinary power of attorney is a legal document authorising one or more people to handle your financial affairs. It’s only valid while you still have the mental capacity to make your own decisions. You may want to set one up if, for example:
- You need someone to act for you for a temporary period, such as while you’re on holiday
- You wish someone to act for you only while you’re able to supervise their actions.
A power of attorney gives the attorney (the person you choose to act for you) a legal document that proves their powers.
It’s up to you to decide what it covers. It can be a general power, without restrictions, or give limited powers only to do a specific task, for example, to sell a house.
In either case, you can still also act for yourself. An ordinary power of attorney is only valid while you are capable of giving instructions.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
If you want someone to be able to act for you when you lose capacity to make your own decisions, you should consider a lasting power of attorney (LPA) rather than an ordinary power of attorney. LPA can ensure that your wishes are carried out if you lose capacity.
While we all hope to avoid suffering from dementia there are practical steps we should all be thinking about how to plan for the future in case of problems in later life. In particular, it is prudent to write an LPA. It’s the old story of fixing the roof while the sun is shining. Without one, who would handle the things if you were unwell due to dementia, stroke or another incapacity?
An LPA is a legal document or form you can write now appointing one or more people to act as attorneys to handle your affairs in case you become unwell later. You can have one or more attorneys acting together or separately. You can appoint replacements in case the first attorneys cannot act. For example, you can appoint your wife as the first attorney with your son as a replacement attorney.
Types of LPA
There are two types:
- An LPA for Property and Affairs would cover for example paying bills, collecting pensions and generally looking after your affairs
- An LPA for Health and Welfare can cover personal matters such as where you live, care plans and even medical treatment including end of life issues. These are sensitive personal issues and it is important that your attorneys should know your wishes.
Before it can be used, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. This can take months rather than weeks. We can ensure registration goes smoothly for you. This can avoid delays later. Once registered, it can be kept in a safe place until needed.
The important thing is that writing an LPA gives you the chance now to make plans and arrangements for the future in case the worst happens. It is a sort of insurance to ensure people you trust are handling your most important personal affairs. Without an LPA matters could be left to chance.
You can begin writing an LPA by contacting Cliff Veitch and his team. We have many years of experience of these matters and can guide you through the choices involved in writing a document that is right for you. We can also work to a fixed price fee budget with no surprise charges.
If you are looking for further help with life planning, our team can help:
For more information please contact our team on 0191 232 9547 and ask to speak to a member of our team for more information.