Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows a named person or persons, chosen by you, to assist you in managing your affairs when you are no longer able to.

The chosen person would be able to help you with financial and property related issues ("wealth") as well as any arrangements necessary for your personal welfare ("health"). A Power of Attorney is accepted by banks, building societies, financial advisors and government departments and would enable, for example, a daughter to change direct debit arrangements with a bank for her elderly mother.

Lasting Power of Attorney

To manage another persons affairs comprehensively a Lasting Power of Attorney would be necessary. You must select someone or more than one person that you trust to handle your affairs. You can appoint attorneys to deal with two aspects of your life, your financial affairs and your personal welfare.

Your financial affairs include paying bills on your behalf, making decisions about your house and paying for residential care.

Personal welfare allows your chosen attorney to make arrangements about the care you require and the medical care you need for your condition. Critically, if you have chosen to state in your Lasting Power of Attorney that you do not wish to be kept alive with life-sustaining treatments, your attorney will have the power to refuse consent for treatment on your behalf.

Lasting Power of Attorney can assist you if you need help to manage your affairs and if you lose mental capacity then it takes over and your chosen attorney will make decisions in your best interest. It is particularly valuable for people who have dementia, have been left paralysed by a severe stroke, unconscious or have a terminal illness. It is important to put your power of attorney in place while you are able to do so as it means that your attorney can step in if you become unwell.