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Lasting Powers of Attorney

 

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Lasting Powers of Attorney

An ordinary power of attorney is a useful way of giving someone formal authority to act on your behalf.  There are lots of uses for such powers - for example, if you were to leave the UK for an extended period of time it might be convenient to appoint someone to execute important documents on your behalf during your absence. 


Such powers are automatically revoked upon death.  Importantly, they are also revoked if the person granting the power becomes mentally incapacitated.  It is therefore not possible, with ordinary powers of attorney, to choose someone to represent you if you should become incapable of managing your own affairs through mental impairment.  This is of course something that many people would like to arrange.


To overcome this difficulty, Enduring Powers of Attorney were introduced in 1985.  These powers could, upon being registered with the Court of Protection, survive the incapacity of the donor.  However, there were still problems and deficiencies and so in 2005 Lasting Powers of Attorney were introduced, under the Mental Capacity Act of 2005,  to replace them. 


Lasting Powers of Attorney have to be registered at the outset.  They then enable those appointed to conduct your personal affairs and make arrangements in accordance with your wishes if you subsequently lose mental capacity.


There are two different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney: 


A Property and Financial Affairs PoA will enable the attorney to make decisions with regard to your property, for example, running your bank and savings accounts, dealing with any investments you may have, or selling your house.


A Health and Welfare PoA applies to personal or medical decisions, such as choosing a care home and giving/withholding consent to medical treatment on your behalf.


These documents are complex and they must be completed carefully and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian at the outset so that, if you lose capacity, it is clear that you have appointed someone you trust to act in your best interests and speak on your behalf.
We have a vast wealth of experience in dealing with powers of attorney on behalf of our clients, and you can rest assured that any concerns will be fully addressed before signing such an important document.

 

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