Terese Kingman of our South Molton office takes a look
If you are concerned about your future health, wellbeing and financial affairs a Lasting Power of Attorney will allow you to plan now and choose who will make essential decisions for you in the event that you become physically or mentally incapacitated.
At this stage you can choose your attorneys. They are the people who act for you once you become incapable of looking after your own affairs.
The Lasting Power of Attorney has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. You are able to register the Lasting Power of Attorney before you become incapacitated but with a condition that your attorney can only make decisions when you lose the ability to do so yourself. Obviously there is a cost implication when lodging this document at the Office of the Public Guardian, but we can advise you about fees and expenses so that you can properly budget.
Who can be an attorney?
Your attorney should be someone you trust to make decisions in your best interest once you become incapable of doing so yourself.
The attorney must only make decisions which the Lasting Power of Attorney allows them make and which benefit you.
There are two different types of lasting powers attorney, what are they?
The two types of Lasting Power of Attorney are:
1. Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
2. Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
In the event that you become incapable of making decisions for yourself concerning your medical treatment then a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney will enable you to choose people to make these decisions for you. The most telling point of the Welfare Power of Attorney is that an attorney can be appointed authorised to give or refuse consent to the life-sustaining treatment on your behalf.
Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
This type of Lasting Power of Attorney will allow you to choose people to make decisions for you concerning your property (for example, selling your home) and your financial affairs (paying bills and making investments) once you are incapable of dealing with these matters yourself.
Why do I need two separate lasting powers of attorney?
They are two distinct areas. Your attorney(s) must understand the need for them to make decisions in respect of whichever area you instruct them to.
You may decide you only wish your attorney to deal with your financial affairs once you become incapacitated, in which case you will only register the Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney. By contrast, an attorney under a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney cannot make decisions about Property or Financial matters.
Find more information here: www.courtofprotectionlawyers.co.uk