Do you know who would deal with your financial affairs and health and welfare matters if you were taken ill, involved in a serious accident or had dementia?
Thinking about what could happen in these situations is uncomfortable, yet it is important whilst planning for the future, that, these matters are considered, so that you can be prepared. One person in the UK develops dementia every three minutes. It is not simply the case that your husband or wife, son or daughter or other relative can walk into your bank and access your funds, even if it is to pay your bills.
Unless there is a Power of Attorney in place, your relatives would need to make an application to the Court of Protection to manage your affairs, which can be an added stress in an already stressful situation.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document appointing people that you trust (Attorney/s) to make decisions for you and sign documents on your behalf. This may be for a temporary situation, for example if you are going into hospital for surgery and need help with everyday things like making sure that your bills are paid. Alternatively, it may be necessary to plan for the future if you have been diagnosed with dementia and you may lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions in the future.
By creating the Power, it allows you to plan in advance by appointing people you want to be able to act on your behalf and make decisions for you, it also allows you to give guidance and stipulate what decisions you wish to be made on your behalf if you were to lack mental capacity to make decisions of your own.
There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney – Property & Financial Affairs and Personal Welfare. The Property & Financial Affairs power can give your Attorney the power to make decisions about money and property on your behalf, for example, managing a bank account, paying bills, collecting benefits or a pension and selling your home. This power can be used as soon as it’s been registered by the Office of the Public Guardian, with your permission and can continue to be used in the event that you lost mental capacity.
The Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare, allows your Attorney to make decisions on your behalf concerning your daily routine, for example, washing, dressing, eating, your medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining treatment. The Attorney/s can only act on your behalf if you lack mental capacity to make your own decisions.
At hpjv solicitors we understand how important it is for our clients to have trusted legal advice to guide them through the process and we are here to make you feel at ease. We offer a first interview free and we have an exciting offer for June/July 2018 for 20% off our normal fees for Lasting Power of Attorney matters. We would be delighted to meet with you.
If you need advice regarding a Power of Attorney or any other Probate matter please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and experienced Probate Department, please click here for more information.