If you should lose the ability to manage your personal affairs and make decisions, such as handling your financial and tax affairs or transacting a house sale, you can nominate someone you trust to make important decisions on your behalf in the future. This is called a Lasting Power of Attorney.
In order for this to meet the stringent criteria acceptable to the Court, the paperwork must be legally intact with the correct documents submitted.
Power of attorney is an important document and you can choose the person whom you most trust and has the appropriate skills to make the proposed decisions. You can also choose to appoint a successor to your attorney, in the event the first attorney chosen cannot act for you or dies.
Age and situation
Consider the age and circumstances of the person you wish to choose as your attorney and whether they will have the time, and physical or mental ability, to fulfil their duties.
Just in case
It is a good idea to draw up a Lasting Power of Attorney in case you should have an accident, become seriously ill or suffer a stroke or dementia and can no longer manage your personal affairs. Even a joint bank account may be frozen if one of the account holders loses mental capacity.
No Lasting Power of Attorney
In the event any of the above happen and you have not appointed a Lasting Power of Attorney, it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection for an appropriate order, such as appointing another person to make decisions on your behalf. Your financial affairs could become the responsibility of the Public Guardianship office and a Receiver would then be appointed to act on your behalf.
Delays and cost
One of the greatest difficulties with the latter procedure is that not only is it stressful but it can cause significant delays and additional cost.
Garrett-Long Solicitors have specialist legal consultants who offer a professional and friendly approach; we can assist you in drawing up a legally acceptable Lasting Power of Attorney.