Power of Attorney
What If I Am Unable To Manage My Affairs?
There may come a time in your life when you are unable to manage your financial affairs or personal welfare, owing to some form of incapacity and you will need someone to act on your behalf.
Even when we are young, we can find ourselves incapacitated owing to illness or injury and it can be invaluable having a reliable person, who is able to manage your personal affairs and remove the anxiety of having unpaid bills, at a time when you most need peace of mind.
Similarly as we get older, the need for an attorney increases as we are more prone to illness and injuries.
Creating an Attorney in advance, ensures that if the worst were to happen, you can rest assured that both your financial affairs and personal welfare are in safe hands.
So Who Do I Choose?
You can appoint a friend, relative, or a professional as your Attorney. This allows them to act on your behalf.
It is important that you choose who you would like to act on your behalf very carefully. You should choose people you can trust to act in your best interests, giving consideration to how they manage their own affairs. It is always a good idea to appoint more than one Attorney to ensure that this power is not abused.
The Different Types of Powers of Attorney
You may have heard of an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and be aware that this was replaced in October 2007. (EPAs set up prior to 1st October 2007 remain valid, however, it should be noted that if the Donor is believed to be becoming, or is mentally incapable of managing their affairs then the Attorney(s) have a duty to register the EPA with the Court of Protection). It cannot be simply assumed that the Donor has lost mental capacity and Attorneys must follow the principles of The Mental Capacity Act 2005. Copies of the Code can be obtained from Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.
If you hold an Enduring Power of Attorney and still have mental capacity and are able to make decisions for yourself (ie.the EPA is unregistered) you can make a Personal Welfare LPA to run in conjunction with the EPA.
What has Replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney?
These have been replaced with three different documents:
• A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Property and Financial Affairs
• A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Health & Welfare
• A General Power of Attorney
Please note these Powers are only applicable
to England and Wales.