What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

As we grow old it can be more difficult to manage the day to day decisions we all have to make. There is an option for us to consider when we get to that time in our lives though and it is called a Lasting Power of Attorney.

There are two types of power of attorney available and they are health and welfare and property and financial affairs. Although there are two types of power of attorney, you do not need to choose just one, you can decide to implement both.
The first option when making a power of attorney is property and financial affairs. This will allow you to share the responsibility of your financial affairs with someone you trust. This will be particularly beneficial if you are struggling with the day to day responsibility of making sure your bills are paid on time, that your benefits are collected or perhaps the process of selling your home if you are downsizing or moving into a residential home or sheltered accommodation.
In order to give a property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney to someone, you should consider whom you want to appoint. You need to trust that your attorney will act in your best interests. Once you have made this decision you will need to complete the correct forms and register your Lasting Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian. You will also need to be over 18 and have the capacity to make your own decisions.

The second option to consider is the health and welfare power of attorney. This allows your attorney to make decisions about your health and medical care, what treatment you should receive if you are seriously ill and even down to your day to day routines, such as what you wear and eat. This option will only come into effect once you do not have the capacity to make these decisions for yourself.

Arranging one or both Lasting Power of Attorney instructions may help you to feel secure that your wishes in the future will be honoured and that you are protected.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our Wills, Probate & Trusts services (including Care home fees recovery and powers of attorney), please call Michelle Stopford in our Warminster office on 01985 214444 or email mstopford@mulaw.co.uk  and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).