Powers of Attorney

Powers of attorney are used to grant someone else the authority to make decisions, or deal with your affairs, on your behalf.

You may be looking to create a power of attorney due to:

–          Suffering from a physical illness or disability

–          Being based overseas for a period of time

–          Suffering from a progressive mental illness

Depending on the circumstances, there are three different types and it is important to be aware of when each can be used:

Ordinary Power of Attorney

This is where you would like to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs. This could be over a long period of time or just to cover a particular issue which you require help with. An ordinary power of attorney is most commonly required in the event of a physical illness, which makes physical attendance difficult and is also used when you know you will be unavailable for a particular commitment due to upcoming travel arrangements. An ordinary power of attorney can be set up quickly and can be brought to an end equally so.

Lasting Power of Attorney

These are more complicated than an ordinary power of attorney. Lasting powers of attorney not only allow you to make arrangements for someone to act or make decisions on your behalf in the future, they allow you to grant that power even if at a later date you no longer have the mental capacity to make such decisions yourself. You can make lasting powers of attorney in relation to your health and welfare, or in respect of your property and financial affairs. A lasting power of attorney must be registered before it is used and whilst they are often made by those who are already at risk of losing their mental capacity, it is considered good practice for everyone over the age of 55 to have a lasting power of attorney to sit alongside their Will.

If you believe that the person you are enquiring for has already lost their mental capacity you will need to consider making an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy.

Enduring Power of Attorney

Since 1st October 2007 you can no longer make a new enduring power of attorney but, if you made one before that date, the old one can still be registered for use. If you are looking to assist someone with their personal welfare due to mental health concerns you will now need to create a lasting power of attorney as set out above.

Whether you would like someone else to look after your affairs or are helping a family member to make similar arrangements, please call us on 0333 12 12345 (International callers +44 1992 505 406), complete a Free Online Enquiry or email info@betteridges.com and we will soon be in touch.

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