A Lasting Power of Attorney is a powerful but invaluable legal document which allows you to choose someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity or no longer wish to make decisions yourself. The person you choose is called your attorney. You can appoint more than one person to act together, or choose one person to act alone. You also have the option to choose replacement attorneys who can act if your first named attorney dies or is unable to continue.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are not just for the elderly. An accident can happen at any time that could deprive you of your ability to make decisions. Strokes and heart attacks can also happen without warning. Making a Lasting Power of Attorney means that you have a say about who you want to make decisions for you if you are unable to.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney does not mean that you lose control. It is a safeguard for the future and does not prevent you from making your own decisions for as long as you are able to. It can be revoked at any time if you change your mind.
There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney. The Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Decisions gives your attorneys authority to make decisions on your behalf regarding such matters as your bank accounts and investments, paying bills and buying or selling property. The Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare gives them authority to make decisions regarding matters such as your medical treatment, where you live, and your diet and lifestyle.
If you lose mental capacity and have not appointed an attorney your family will need to apply to the Court of Protection for an order for somebody to be appointed as your deputy. This is more time-consuming and costly process than making a Lasting Power of Attorney and puts much more emotional stress on your loved ones at an already difficult time.
We are able to provide advice to help you decide which documents you wish to make, who you would like to appoint as your attorneys and how you would like them to make decisions. We make sure that the application is correctly completed and signed by you and your attorneys, and liaise with the Office of the Public Guardian to register the documents.
We are also available to guide you through the process of registering an existing Enduring Power of Attorney. These are documents made before October 2007 which appoint attorneys in a similar way to Lasting Powers of Attorney but are only registered by your attorneys when you lose capacity.
If an application to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order is needed, we are experienced in guiding you through the application process and liaising with the Court to make the process as stress-free as possible.