Why Power Of Attorney is so important

Why Power Of Attorney is so important

It is currently estimated that 55,000 people are registered with the Court of Protection who are deemed mentally incapable to act on their own behalf. Their affairs are placed under the jurisdiction of the Court. This would mean that those seeking to care for you, such as your family, would have the added stress of having to deal with officials every time a decision needed to be made. They would also have no official say in any medical treatment for you even when they knew what your wishes would have been.

No doubt you have taken care to ensure that your assets go to the right people when you die by making a will. If you care enough about what happens to your assets after you die, then you ought to care even more about keeping them and yourself safe while you are alive.

A Power of Attorney is a powerful legal document which allows an individual (Donor) to appoint a person or persons of their choice (an Attorney) to look after their affairs should they at a later stage no longer wish to make those decisions or lack the capacity to manage their affairs themselves.

From October 2007 two new powers came into effect.

Property & Finance Power of Attorney

This power allows you're attorneys to make decisions about paying bills, dealing with banks and investments, arranging and collecting benefits and even sell property on behalf of the donor.

Health & Welfare Power of Attorney

This power allows the attorneys to make decisions on care issues, where the donor lives, and where the donor wishes, giving or refusing consent to life sustaining treatment. As the name of the power suggests (lasting) both of these powers continue to be valid even after the Donor loses capacity. Once registered, a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs can be used by the Attorneys at any time, HOWEVER a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare can ONLY be used when the Donor has lost mental capacity.

Lasting Powers of Attorney have replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney in England, Scotland & Wales, but not Northern Ireland. EPAs made prior to 01/10/2007 continue to be valid.

Anyone aged 18 and over who has mental capacity and who is not bankrupt when they sign the form. You should appoint someone you trust such as a relative, or a professional such as Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation. (Countrywide can only act as your Attorney for LPA Property & Financial Affairs). Anyone aged 18 years or over who has mental capacity at the time of making it (England and Wales).

Once you have made the decision to make your Lasting Power of Attorneys, we recommend that your LPAs are registered immediately with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). An LPA can only be used after it is registered with the OPG.

Having to face the prospect of being unable to deal with your own affairs can be daunting for us all. So many people avoid this, but failing to act NOW and plan for this eventuality can only add to the burden facing your loved ones.

Contact me today for more information on how we can help.

01249 704863  info@strategicwills.co.uk 

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