A Power of Attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. For example a General Power of Attorney may be created if you are living abroad and wish to sell your UK property. This person (your Attorney) will be authorised to sign paperwork on your behalf.
If you become physically or mentally unable to make your own decisions then a Lasting Power of Attorney allows someone else to make them for you. Your Lasting Power of Attorney must be drawn up whilst you have full mental capacity.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: Health & Welfare and Property & Financial Affairs. You can decide whether you want to make one type on its own or both.
You can enter a restriction in to your Lasting Power of Attorney that means that your Attorney cannot act for you unless you have lost mental capacity and this has been certified by your doctor. However, this could lead to problems in the future. It is therefore important that you seek legal advice surrounding this.
If you make a Lasting Power of Attorney for your Health and Welfare your Attorney(s) can make the following decisions on your behalf:-
- Your daily routine
- Medical care
- Care homes
- Refusal/Consent of life-sustaining treatment
Under a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs your Attorney(s) can make the following decisions on your behalf:-
- Paying bills
- Selling your home
- Collecting benefits can be decided by your Property & Financial Affairs Power of Attorney.
To find out more visit our Frequently Asked Questions page