How we can help with Powers of Attorney.
Making a Power of Attorney.
It’s important to plan for the possibility that, regardless of your age, you may become unable to manage your own affairs and make decisions for yourself. The reality is that this can happen at any time whether due to accident or illness. It’s not something which only affects those in later life. That is why more and more people are making Lasting Powers of Attorney.
We all hope that this is not something which will happen to us but if it does, none of us would want our family to find themselves in a very difficult and costly legal and financial situation.
We’ve got a wealth of experience in advising people of all ages about making Powers of Attorney.
The best time to make a Power of Attorney is when you’re fit and able. By making a Power of Attorney you get to:
- choose who you want to make important decisions about your finances and your welfare if you become unable to make them yourself
- avoid expensive Court of Protection Fees
- prevent your finances from being frozen
- ensure that you receive the medical treatment that you want
- ensure that your wishes in relation to end of life treatment are observed
- give your attorney greater power over the care and treatment you receive, including where you live
- eliminate guesswork for your family about your wishes on future arrangements
- allow your loved ones to focus on what’s important
We’ll talk you through the different types of Powers of Attorney and how they operate. You’re likely to have lots of questions – we’re here to help you and address any concerns you may have about this process.
We can assist you in deciding whom to appoint as your attorney(s). We will prepare a Power of Attorney to meet to your precise wishes in relation to who is appointed when they can act for you and the scope of the authority given to them.
We can help you to make the following types of Powers of Attorney:
- Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
- Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
- General Power of Attorney
- Commercial Business Power of Attorney
- Trustee Power of Attorney
- Freehold Property Management Power of Attorney
- Personal Representative Power of Attorney
Ready to talk?
If you are not yet ready to talk, keep scrolling to read our FAQs about Powers of Attorney.
Attorneys and Deputies.
If you’re appointed as an attorney there may come a time when you need to actually start using the Power of Attorney to help the person who appointed you.
If you’re appointed as a Deputy by the Court of Protection then you’re going to need to get involved in the person’s affairs immediately.
Acting as an Attorney or Deputy is something that most people are not familiar with. This can seem a daunting prospect. If you get it wrong then you can be held personally liable for any mistakes or oversights that you make – you’ll then have to pay money out of your own pocket.
It’s important for you to take advice about your role at the outset and when key decisions have to be made. You’re entitled to recover the cost of the advice from the assets that you’re managing.
We’ll be able to advise you on:
- how to know when you should start using the Power of Attorney
- how you go about using or activating the Power of Attorney
- registering an Enduring Power of Attorney
- how you should make decisions
- the scope of the authority given to you by the Power of Attorney
- what you should and shouldn’t do when acting as an attorney
- making gifts
- making investment decisions
- buying and selling property
- any other questions you have
By taking the appropriate advice at the outset things are much more likely to run smoothly and without any hassle. This will benefit you and the person whose affairs you’re managing.
FAQs about Powers of Attorney.
If you don’t make a Lasting Power of Attorney it can make life very difficult for your loved ones if you have an accident or illness or if you lose capacity.
They will most likely have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order so that they can take care of your finances and make decisions on your behalf about the care and treatment you receive.
It can take up to 6 months for the Court of Protection to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. In the meantime, your family may be unable to manage your assets, (including property, investments and bank accounts), and you may not receive the care you want during this time. This is the case even for married couples and it can cause unnecessary stress, financial hardship and difficulties in pay for your care and treatment.
Your family might not agree about who should make decisions on your behalf. This might mean that you end up with a Court appointed Deputy making crucial decisions for you instead of your loved ones.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to plan ahead and avoid all of these difficulties and ensures that your wishes are respected.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose who you want to make decisions on your behalf about the management of your finances and your healthcare is you lose mental capacity.
It’s important to plan for the possibility that, regardless of your age, you may become unable to manage your own affairs and make decisions for yourself. The reality is that this can happen at any time, whether due to accident or illness. It’s not something which only affects those in later life.
We all hope that this is not something which will happen to us but if it does, we’d all want things to be as easy and straightforward as possible for our loved ones. By making a Lasting Power of Attorney you can save your loved being finding themselves is a difficult and costly legal and financial situation.
You can choose anyone to be your attorney as long as they’re:
- Aged 18 or more; and
- Aren’t a bankrupt or the subject of a Debt Relief Order if you’re making a Lasting Power of Attorney for your financial affairs.
Whoever you choose should be someone you trust to make decisions in your best interests. You might choose to appoint your spouse, friend or relative or a legal professional or solicitor.
You should consider the following factors when choosing an attorney:
- Do they have experience of managing a significant amount of money and home ownership?
- Do they have a known history of good personal financial management?
- Are they in good health?
- Do they have other commitments which would limit their time to be able to make good decisions?
Anyone who is on the Disclosure and Barring Service’s barred list cannot act unless they are a family member and are not getting a fee for acting.
Technically you can have as many attorneys as you like but it’s normal to appoint between one and four attorneys.
It’s advisable not to have too many attorneys, as it can cause issues if lots of people are trying to act on your behalf at once. It’s important not to have too few, or you could find yourself in a position where there is no attorney able to act. We can help you to strike a balance.
If you only appoint one attorney and that person dies before you, becomes ill or doesn’t want to act, you won’t have an attorney in place. This would make your Lasting Power of Attorney ineffective. One way to avoid this is to appoint one or more Replacement Attorneys.
If you do decide to appoint more than one attorney, you need to decide how you want them to act – either ‘jointly’ or ‘jointly and severally’. Jointly means that all your attorneys have to make decisions together. Jointly and severally means that they can make decisions on their own, without the agreement of the other attorneys. With joint and several appointments, any action taken by any attorney alone is as valid as if they were the only attorney. It is up to your attorneys to choose how they make decisions but they must always act in your best interests.
Most people choose the joint and several option because attorneys can make simple or urgent decisions quickly and easily, without asking your other attorney. In addition, if an attorney can no longer act, the Lasting Power of Attorney will not be cancelled if you’ve appointed them jointly and severally.
Enduring Powers of Attorney were replaced by the financial affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney in October 2007. You can’t make these anymore but if you made one before October 2007 it may still be valid.
The attorneys of an Enduring Power of Attorney must register it with the Office of the Public Guardian as soon as someone starts to lose mental capacity.
You can cancel your Lasting Power of Attorney at any time provided that you still have mental capacity. If you want to, you can then make a new Lasting Power of Attorney.
The cost will depend on what you need and how complex it is. For example, business owners may want to appoint different attorneys to manage their personal finances, separately from the attorneys appointed to manage their business interest.
It’ll only take a few minutes to discuss this with you over the phone. We’ll then be able to give you a fixed fee for advising you in connection with your Lasting Powers of Attorney, drafting the documents and overseeing the registration process.
Call us today on 01884 216106, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or use our Free Enquiry Form.