A Power of Attorney is a legal document authorising someone(s) you trust - friend, relative or professional, to conduct your affairs on your behalf. Either now or later should you become mentally incapable of managing your affairs yourself.
A Power of Attorney can be created to allow another to not only manage your financial affairs (this can be a general power of attorney which can only be utilised whilst you have mental capacity or property and affairs Lasting Power of Attorney which can be used on all occasions once it has been registered. You can also create a welfare Lasting Power of Attorney which enables those appointed to take decisions regarding your personal welfare and medical treatment etc. This power again can only be utilised once registered.
Trustee Power of Attorney
If you are a trustee of a property or other asset and need to delegate your authority to a third party because for instance you are going abroad for a while, a trustee Power of Attorney can be executed to achieve this, but it cannot run for a period of more than 12 months.
Are you an Attorney?
If you hold a Power of Attorney for someone you must not exceed the scope of that authority and you must keep an accurate record of the actions you’ve taken. The choice of which Power of Attorney and the rules and regulations governing their use are becoming increasingly complex.
Our experienced solicitors are familiar with all types of Powers of Attorney and regularly act as professional Attorneys under them. Our role often brings us into contact with individuals with diminishing mental capacity in difficult circumstances. Our approach is professional whilst sympathetic and understanding. Choosing the right person to act for you under a Power of Attorney is vital.
Enduring Power of Attorney
The Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) was replaced by the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) on 1 October 2007. All Enduring Powers of Attorney provided they were properly executed can still be used. Registration of these powers of Attorney is still rewuired where the donor of the power is losing his or her mental capacity.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) were introduced by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 from 1 October 2007. They allow the individuals to appointed to look after property and financial affairs (a Property and Affairs LPA) but to also to make health and personal welfare decisions (a Personal Welfare LPA) when they are unable to make these decisions in the future. LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney is usually created for many different reasons but cannot be used once the donor of the power no longer has the mental capacity to handle their own affairs. It can be for a specifi purpose or for a specific time.