EAD’s Power of Attorney Solicitors guide you through why it is important to have a Power of Attorney.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint someone to make decisions about your welfare, money or property. It allows you to appoint someone that you trust as an ‘attorney’ to make decisions on your behalf. Attorneys can make decisions for you when you no longer wish to, or when you lack the mental capacity to do so.
What sort of decisions can an Attorney make?
The decisions an attorney can make on your behalf will depend upon what sort of lasting power of attorney has been made and what powers the attorney has been given in the lasting power of attorney.
There are two types of lasting power of attorney, a “health and welfare lasting power of attorney”, where an attorney is granted the power to make decisions about your health and welfare, and a “property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney” where an attorney is given the power to make decisions about your property and financial affairs.
Irrespective of the type of lasting power of attorney, the attorney is under a duty to only make decisions which are in the “donor’s” best interests (a “donor” is the person who makes the lasting power of attorney).
Filling in and Registering the Lasting Power of Attorney Forms
A Lasting Power of Attorney can’t be registered and used immediately and the amount of time you might have to wait can change. The current waiting time to register a Lasting Power of Attorney is ten weeks. The Office of the Public Guardian must check the application to make sure there are no problems. There is also a six-week period when people have a chance to object to the Lasting Power of Attorney.
An attorney can only use a Lasting Power of Attorney once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used once the donor (the person needing help) is unable to make their own decisions. A court or a medical professional will help in deciding if someone has lost the mental capacity to make decisions.
Types of Power of Attorney
Firstly there is the Ordinary Power of Attorney. Typically this type of power of attorney is used to appoint someone to manage a person’s affairs temporarily, for example, when they are away oversees on travel or holiday. The document can be drafted to grant general powers to act in all matters or can be limited to specific functions. An example of a specific function would be granting authority for a person to run your business and sign documents in your place or to deal with your bank in your absence.
The second type of power of attorney is the Lasting Power of Attorney. This was previously called the Enduring Power of Attorney. It is for use when the person granting the power of attorney is unable to handle their affairs anymore. The Donee is granted full control over the Donor’s affairs, including the right to determine what should happen to the Donee and how they should be looked after and cared for. This type of power of attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian once it is completed.
Contact our Powers of Attorney Solicitors today to arrange and appointment. Our Powers of Attorney Solicitors can even visit you at your own home at a time convenient to you. Call us today.
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