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Lasting Powers of Attorney

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document. It allows you to choose someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf about things such as property and financial affairs or health and welfare at a time, in the future, when you no longer wish to or may lack the mental capacity to make those decisions yourself. In other words you can sort out what is to happen if you lose your ability to make your own decisions.

A Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used after it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian in London.

Who can make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Anyone aged eighteen or over, with the capacity to do so, can make a Lasting Power of Attorney appointing one or more attorneys to make decisions on their behalf.

It is not possible to make a Lasting Power of Attorney jointly with another person. Each person must make his or her own Lasting Power of Attorney.

Types of Lasting Powers of Attorney

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney

  1. A Health and Welfore Lasting Power of Attorney
  2. A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

The Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

Allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf regarding your property and financial affairs.

You can decide to give your attorney/attorneys the power to make decisions about any or all your property and financial afairs. This could include paying your bills, collecting your benefits or selling your house.

The Health and Welfore Lasting Power of Attorney

This can be used by someone you trust, if you have lost mental capacity, to make decisions about your medical treatment, where you live and your day to day care.

For more information

Contact Clair Dunkerley who, as well as being an experienced private client solicitor, is a Solicitor for the Elderly on 01429 230034 or 0191 383 0111 or email cdunkerley@tmjlegal.co.uk

Or visit the government web site

What can happen if you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney

If you cannot deal with your affairs someone may have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed to act as your Deputy. This is expensive and time consuming and the person who applies may not be the person you would have chosen.  Often the person who has to deal with the Court of Protection finds it a difficult and stressful experience.

If you are in business the delay could have disastrous consequences for that business. The Court of Protection is not necessarily the organisation best suited to running a business and the business owner is well advised to appoint an attorney who has an understanding of business or even the desire to deal with the business for the benefit of the owner and his/her family.