Why Appoint a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were unable to make decisions for yourself in terms of your finances and your health?
Do you have assets in your name whether in your sole name or jointly that someone may have to access to pay for your care?
Perhaps you are physically unable to get out and about and need someone to do your banking for you?
Most people believe their family or next of kin can automatically make decisions for them or access their finances. Unfortunately, this is not true. Whatever your circumstances, a Lasting Power of Attorney will ensure that those who you choose and trust will be able to make decisions for you when you can no longer make decisions for yourself.
Finances & Assets
You can give someone your trust with Power of Attorney to make decisions regarding your property and financial affairs when you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
They can make such decisions with your consent whilst you are of sound mind and also if you became incapacitated. They can operate your bank accounts, deal with your investments and pensions, buy and sell property and generally deal with your assets in the same way you can.
Health & Welfare
You can also give Power of Attorney over your health and welfare decisions and allow your attorneys to make life sustaining treatment for you, such as the ability to refuse or consent to major surgery or to be resuscitated.
They can decide where you should live, what treatments to have and arrange your care, but only if you are incapable of making such health and welfare decisions of yourself.
Appointing a Power of Attorney
You can appoint more than one Power of Attorney and they can act in the first instance. You can also appoint replacement Attorneys to act if they are unable to do so. You can include guidance in the Power of Attorney documents on how you would like your Attorneys to act for you, and you can restrict the powers as well.
Some people believe it is too costly to set up a Power of Attorney and that their family and loved ones can ‘deal with the problem’ at the time. This is unfortunately not true. If you did not have a Power of Attorney, then someone (who you may not approve of) will have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your deputy.
This process is both timely and costly and will prevent anyone from making decisions for you and acting in your best interest until the court issue the deputyship order. It is therefore advisable for you to make a Power of Attorney now whilst you are fit and healthy.
If you have an old style Power of Attorney called an Enduring Power of Attorney, you may wish to have this reviewed as it only covers financial matters and does not provide for replacement attorneys.
How we can help
Sam Mohieddin TEP, is a highly experienced solicitor who specialises in Lasting Power of Attorney, Wills, Trusts and Probate.
Sam has recently joined our team and will be pleased to arrange a free initial consultation with you to discuss your LPA or any other aspect of your financial planning.