Whilst everyone is aware that they should perhaps make a Will, little (if any) thought
is given to preparing for unforeseen events which could happen during your lifetime.
Consider what would happen if you were perhaps incapacitated due to an accident or
you had a stroke and were unable to express yourself.Perhaps you are struggling to
sign cheques or are going abroad for a period of time.
If you wish someone you trust to be able to deal with your finances and deal with
your property you may execute a Power of Attorney. This document could be limited
to allow your appointed ‘Attorney’ to be able for example to deal with a house sale
if you are abroad or sign cheques on your behalf. It may only be used in the way
you specify and whilst you retain your mental capacity.
If you wish to extend this authority to a time when you may be unable to make decisions
for yourself due to temporary or permanent mental incapacity then you should consider
making a Lasting Power of Attorney.
There are detailed requirements which must be met before your Lasting Power is valid
and it is required to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before
it can be used.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney – one deals with your financial
matters and property and the other deals with personal and welfare decisions.
Katherine Melkerts will be pleased to discuss ‘Powers of Attorney’ with you in more
detail or you may if you wish visit the Office of the Public Guardian website to
find out more www.publicguardian.gov.uk then ‘click’ Making Arrangements for yourself
or please ask us for your free copy of the Law Society guide relating tothis subject.
If you, a member of family, or friend has already sadly lost mental capacity then
it may not be appropriate for them to make a Power of Attorney. Please look at our
Court of Protection page for more information.