Power of Attorney
As time goes by, it is important to get your affairs in order and make your wishes for what happens in the future known. Professional advice and guidance is essential and putting certain provisions in place now offers peace of mind both to you and your loved ones.
There are three main types of Power of Attorney:
General Power of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney can be useful if you are planning to live out of the country and want someone to deal with your affairs and sign documents on your behalf. You may want it for a short or extended period of time or even for a specific issue. It ceases to be valid if you should lose mental capacity to carry out your own affairs. In that case, you would either need to sign a Lasting Power of Attorney or someone would have to apply to the Court of Protection for this facility on your behalf.
Trustee Power of Attorney
A Trustee Power of Attorney is similar to a General Power of Attorney but its powers are related only to a Trust and it has to be renewed every 12 months.
Lasting Power of Attorney
With a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) it is possible to appoint a person or persons (attorney or attorneys) to make important decisions regarding your finances, property and welfare should you become unable to control your own affairs. Whilst every adult has the right to manage their own money and affairs sometimes our ability to do this decreases whether this is caused by illness, disability, or an accident.
There are two types of LPA:
- Property & Financial which allows your attorney / attorneys to make decisions about how to spend your money and the way your property and affairs are managed. With a Property & Financial LPA you can appoint your attorney / attorneys to help you manage your finances even if you haven’t lost capacity should you so wish.
- Health & Care allows your attorney / attorneys to make decisions about your health and welfare. This includes decisions to refuse or consent to treatment on your behalf and deciding where you live. Your attorney cannot make decisions on your behalf unless there comes a time when you’re no longer able to make such decisions yourself.
Either LPA is only effective once registered.
In the event that a person has not registered an LPA and they are unable to make decisions for themselves it is necessary to apply to the Court of Protection for a person or persons to be appointed as their Deputy. This process takes in excess of 6 months and the cost of applying for a Deputyship Order is approximately 4 times the cost of registering an LPA.