Around 16% of the population is at or above the age of retirement. Many of them are fit and healthy and capable of looking after themselves, but that can change at any time and to anyone of any age when least expected.
Sometimes our loved ones are rendered unable to look after themselves properly as a result of disease or accident and need help and assistance in dealing with their money and belongings, as well as in dealing with their well being and healthcare.
If you (or a member of your family) want to plan for the possibility that one day you may not be able to manage your affairs due to age, illness or disability, you can sign what is called a Lasting Power of Attorney. This means that you can appoint someone of your choosing while you are still fit and healthy – someone who you think is the best person to manage your affairs.
If you do become incapable in the future, and you have not appointed a person with a Lasting Power of Attorney the Court of Protection is required to appoint someone and this process is not only costly and time-consuming, but more importantly you would not have any influence as to who that person is.
It is something which many of our clients – and their families – have been pleased that they created while they have been able to do so.
Enduring & Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney came into force on October 1st 2007. Their predecessors were known as Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs). Any EPAs made prior to the introduction of the Lasting Powers of Attorney on October 1st remain valid, though no more EPAs can be made. If you know someone who has an EPA which has not yet been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian so as to have legal standing, this can still be done.
Personal Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney deal with
- matters that involve the person’s well being
- the person’s health, where they should be cared for and how
- medical decisions that may have to be made sometimes with life or death implications
Property and Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney deal with
- matters that involve a person’s belongings and financial situation
- some fairly mundane things like making sure that the person receives the right level of State Benefits, checking that their bank account is in order, or looking after investments, etc
How can I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
The procedure involved in making a Lasting Powers of Attorney is fairly easy. You will need to do the following:
- appoint an Attorney or Attorneys of your choice (see below)
- obtain a Certificate confirming your circumstances and capabilities or lack of them
- register the document with the Office of the Public Guardian in order to make it a legal and binding document
- ensure that certain key people are informed
- “Attorney” in this sense means someone who is qualified to deal with your affairs or your well being. You should note the following
- the person can be a member of your family or a friend
- you can appoint several different people, each one controlling a particular aspect of your affairs or well being designated to their care
- you must appoint a person or persons who are over 18 years of age
- if you are appointing someone to look after your affairs by way of a Property and Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney, then that person must not be a bankrupt
- you need to be able to fully trust the person or persons you appoint
- your Attorney is expected to act in your best interests at all times, working within the Code of Practice set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005
We can advise you on all that is involved in the whole process.
You may want to find out more about Lasting Powers of Attorney and if so please click on this link to the Office of Public Guardian’s web site at www.publicguardian.gov.uk .
Your Lasting Power of Attorneys can and should be registered. There is a charge of £150.00 for registering each Lasting Power of Attorney. Anyone wishing to register an objection to a Lasting Power of Attorneys can do so within the five week period following registration.
Contact us now so that we can explain this in more detail – if you are making a Will or, have made one then you should also sign a Lasting Power of Attorney.