None of us know what the future holds.
It may be that as we get older we become infirm or suffer illness which results in our becoming unable to manage our affairs. Even if this is not a concern for you, you could suffer an accident which causes a sudden unexpected loss of capacity.
It is therefore sensible to consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney, by appointing someone you trust to manage your affairs on your behalf as an essential part of putting your affairs in order.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
• A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to choose one or more people to make decisions about your property and finances on your behalf. Often these are only used once you have lost the ability to manage your own affairs, but they can also be used with your consent before that, for instance if you are overseas and need someone to look after your business whilst you are away.
• A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to choose one or more people to make decisions in relation to your health and welfare on your behalf. They normally relate to decisions about where you live and medical treatment. This Power of Attorney itself can only be used when you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
The advantages of putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney include:
• You choose who you want to manage your financial and property affairs if you are unable to do so at some stage in the future.
• You choose who will make decisions about your health and welfare if you are unable to do so at some stage in the future.
• You avoid the need to make an application to the Court of Protection for someone to be appointed to manage your financial and property affairs. He or she is called your Deputy. This is a time consuming and bureaucratic process. It also can be costly. A key advantage of a Lasting Power of Attorney is that it is set up and ready for use the moment it is needed, whereas the appointment of a Deputy takes time to set up after the point at which it is needed which can cause serious inconvenience and worry to the people looking after you (for example the payment of nursing home fees)
• You have the control to specify within the Powers of Attorney the powers that your Attorneys will have in relation to the management of your financial and property affairs.
At this firm we see the Lasting Power of Attorney as very much an insurance policy against the uncertainties of the future. You put the Power of Attorney in place when you are fit and able to do so. We store them on behalf of the client. It will only come into effect upon your instructions or if you were to loose your capacity. This forms part of our bespoke service to the client.
We can also advise on other forms of Powers of Attorney, deal with the registration of older Enduring Powers of Attorney, assist Attorneys in the management of their duties under and active Power of Attorney and a member of the department can be appointed to act as a Professional Attorney which can be particularly relevant where there are no family members available to take on this role.
For a consultation with a member of our team to find out how we can help, call 0330 300 1103 or request a call-back.