Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is commonly used to help elderly or people who are ill to manage their affairs. A Power of Attorney is not only for older people though; anyone can have an accident or illness and not be able to look after him or herself. You might also need a Power of Attorney if you are out of the country for a lot of the time.
Call us on 01463 237171 and speak to one of our solicitors. You can arrange an appointment to discuss your needs, and we will advise you on what to do next.
Do I need a Power of Attorney?
Anyone can grant a Power of Attorney if they are mentally capable of giving instructions and over the age of 16. If you are not able to deal with your finances or take decisions then no one has the automatic right to take actions on your behalf. Your family or friends may have to go to court to get the authority to act on your behalf. This can take some time and can be costly.
Are there different Powers of Attorney?
A Straightforward Power of Attorney which you might use if you are going abroad for a while. This Power of Attorney would not continue to be used if you lost mental capacity and does not need to be registered with the Public Guardian’s Office.
A Continuing Power of Attorney deals with property or financial matters.
A Welfare Power of Attorney deals with more practical matters such as medical treatment, care and accommodation.
Both the Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney will continue to have effect if you lose mental capacity. To allow this to happen these Powers of Attorney (which can be contained in the same document) must be registered with the Public Guardian’s Office.
Who should be my Attorney?
You can appoint whomever you want, a family member, friend, solicitor or accountant. The important thing is that you trust them. You can have more than one attorney who can act jointly or each act alone. You can appoint different people as your financial attorney and your welfare attorney. If you only want one person to act as attorney it is a good idea to appoint a substitute attorney to step in if your original attorney is not able to act.