Lasting Power of Attorney – Protecting your future

14 December 2018

Christmas, that time of year when everyone reflects of the year gone by, remembering the loved ones lost, looking forward to new arrivals and new beginnings (after being stuffed full of turkey, sprouts and the ever shrinking Quality Street tin sweet!!) Most people will also remember to maintain their Will however not many are aware of or consider the need to protect their finances, health and medical affairs during their life time if they become unable to do so. As with having a Will, arranging the above must be done whilst you are well and have capacity.

A Lasting power of Attorney is a legal document using which you appoint, people you trust to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney the first dealing with Property and Financial Affairs and the second with Health and Welfare.

A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney allows the people you have nominated (your attorneys) to make decisions such as administering your finances which includes paying bills, investing your money, selling your home and collecting your income. If you wish you can restrict your attorney’s powers or place conditions on what they can / cannot do.

A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney allows your attorneys to make decisions about your personal welfare and health care on your behalf but only if you lack the mental capacity to do so yourself.

Once it has been signed by all the parties, a Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. It is strongly advisable to do this immediately so that your Lasting Power of Attorney can be used as soon as a need arises. In the meantime you would carry on managing your own affairs as normal.