You can choose people you trust to manage your affairs and to make decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so. You can choose who acts for you and how they make decisions.
Did you know that a Property and Financial Affairs Power of Attorney can be created to come into effect straight away? This can be very useful as your Attorneys can act even while you have mental capacity, with your permission. It allows your Attorneys to keep your affairs in order should you be on holiday, physically unable to get out and about or if you have a temporary stay in hospital.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which authorises your specified people to make decisions on your behalf. If you provide your bank cards to trusted friends or relatives, any permission you have given to them will be automatically revoked if you lose capacity in which case, they are technically committing fraud.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are regulated and supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian. They can investigate allegations of abuse or misuse of funds by an Attorney. This offers an additional level of protection and is much safer than simply handing over your bank card.
It is important to note that you do not lose any control by making an LPA. Indeed, a properly drafted LPA can contain details of your wishes and instructions for your Attorneys to follow, allowing you to retain control even after incapacity.
Lasting Powers of Attorney must be made while you are mentally able to do so. As soon as you lose the ability to understand the document, you will not be able to create one. Incapacity can occur at any time and this is not just a document to consider when planning for retirement. It is therefore important to make the document sooner rather than later- don’t leave it until it is too late!
7. Avoiding the alternative
If there is no LPA in place and incapacity occurs, relatives must pursue an application in the Court of Protection to gain access to finances. This is a costly and lengthy process, taking an average of 7-9 months. You also lose the choice as anybody could apply for permission to manage your affairs.
8. For Business
Did you know you can create a Lasting Power of Attorney which can be limited to dealing only with your business? This allows you to choose people to sign business documents on your behalf during your absence, whilst keeping these matters entirely separate from your personal affairs.
9. For Family
Lasting Powers of Attorney are invaluable documents. Putting these documents in place can make life much easier for your relatives at what is likely to be a difficult time. The Health and Welfare document will allow your Attorneys to make decisions about where you live.
10. For You – Peace of Mind
Lasting Powers of Attorney will last for the duration of your lifetime (unless revoked by you), giving your family security and the authority to deal with issues quickly should the worst case scenario present itself. You can find comfort in the knowledge that you have retained control of your life by appointing trustworthy people to continue acting on your wishes if you become unable to communicate them for yourself.