The power of attorney falls into two distinct categories:
There can be a number of reasons why ordinary power of attorney may be sought and subsequently granted. The donor may be living or travelling abroad and as a result, unable to attend to their finances or their affairs in the way they would like to. As a result they could grant someone an ordinary power of attorney over their affairs for a limited period of time. The ordinary power of attorney could also be in general terms or specific to certain duties and responsibilities.
A donor would ordinarily grant someone lasting power of attorney for reasons of ill-health.
We realise that perhaps it's not something that most people would like to think about, but as a way of ensuring that someone’s wishes are met should they become incapacitated, then it offers vital peace of mind to someone who may well already be ill or distressed. You may like to think of it like an insurance policy.
In basic terms it's a document that gives one person the authority to assist and act on behalf of someone else should they become incapacitated.
Lasting power of attorney will ensure that a person’s wishes for personal care are known and met. It also means that someone would be able to ensure that their financial needs are met during their period of incapacity.
You can of course if you so wish appoint more than one attorney, if that should offer you greater peace of mind. When lasting power of attorney is granted it involves two forms - one for 'Personal Welfare' and one for ‘Property and Financial Affairs’.
Once the Donor has lost the capacity to make decisions themselves, the Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before the Attorneys are able to act. The Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs can be registered and used at any time, even before capacity is lost.
The Lasting Powers of Attorney are signed by you as the Donor to appoint one or more than one Attorney to act on your behalf. If there is more than one Attorney, the Attorneys may act together or act separately.
The Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the office of the Public Guardian immediately. In order to be registered it will need to be accompanied with a certificate confirming that the donor understands the effect of the the Lasting Power of Attorney and that there is no fraud or undue pressure on the donor.
Once the Lasting Power of Attorney is registered, third parties such as banks or medical professionals will need to see a copy of the document before they will accept an Attorney's instructions. A Donor can revoke their Lasting Power of Attorney at any time provided they have the mental capacity to do so.
You can also have a FREE half hour appointment with our Probate Clerk Flis Cotton to discuss your requirements in more detail.