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Lasting Power of Attorney – What are they and are they important?

Lasting Power of Attorney

Dealing with money and paperwork can be difficult if you become unable to manage your own affairs for any reason, and in ill health it may be impossible.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives somebody else the authority to make these decisions on your behalf and with your best interest at the heart of the choices they make if you are unable to do so yourself.

There are 2 different types of Lasting Power of Attorney’s:

The Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney - This allows the attorney to make decisions about your personal affairs including: collecting your income and benefits, paying your bills and selling your home if necessary.

The Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney – This allows your attorney to give or refuse consent to medical treatment and to decide where you live. These decisions can only be made on your behalf when you are unable to make them for yourself, for example, if you are ill, unconscious or suffering from a condition like dementia or the consequence of an unexpected accident.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is set up whilst you are still in good health and allows you to appoint your own attorney to act on your behalf. This might be a family member or a close friend that you trust. Without this in place, your personal affairs would become the responsibility of the Office of the Public Guardian and it may be necessary for the Court of Protection to become involved. The court will appoint a person (known as a deputy) to make decisions on your behalf

The major disadvantage of not having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place are firstly the possible delay in dealing with your affairs and secondly the cost of making a deputyship application, which is likely to be much more expensive than making a Lasting Power of Attorney and registering it and there are on-going costs payable to the Court of Protection.

If you would like to know more about Lasting Power of Attorney's or are interested in setting one up please don’t hesitate to call us on 0800 046 9776.

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