Lasting Powers Of Attorney - Oxfordshire, Warwickshire & Cotswolds

lawyer workingA Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby one person (the Donor) gives another person (the Attorney) power to act on their behalf, and in their name, in respect of their financial affairs.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

An ordinary Power of Attorney becomes invalid if the Donor loses the mental capacity to manage his own affairs - and this is just when the Power could be most needed.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is where the Donor appoints an Attorney who, should the Donor subsequently become mentally incapable of managing his own affairs, can continue to act as Attorney.  The Power cannot be used until it is registered with the Court of Protection, whether the Donor is mentally competent or not.  Once registered the Attorney can act on behalf of the Donor without interference from the Court.

Why have a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Being unable to deal with your affairs yourself, whether temporarily or permanently, is a reason to appoint someone you know and trust to look after your affairs for you.  This can avoid the possibility that the Court of Protection may need to be involved if there is mental incapacity.  This is expensive, time consuming and distressing for your relatives.  The appointment of a Lasting Power of Attorney will greatly simplify the administration of your affairs for your family and friends in the event of your mental incapacity.  Your Attorney will be able to deal with your affairs without the difficulties encountered where there is no legal authority.
Be prepared - Mental incapacity can occur unexpectedly, for instance following an accident or stroke.  Illness may result in physical incapacity or hospitalisation, but bills still have to be paid, a business may need to be run, and arrangements may be required on order to sell a house and organise nursing or residential care.
A Lasting Power of Attorney can cover health and welfare as well as financial matters.  You may wish to make particular requests about medical treatment or other aspects of your care and quality of life.

What do you need to do?

Decide whom you wish to appoint as Attorney or Attorneys and if you wish to include any restrictions over how they can act.  Consider at least two family members or friends who will be notified when your Donor registers the Power, to act as a safeguard if there is any reason why the document should not be registered.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that must be completed in a prescribed manner.
There is a new requirement under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for the document to be signed by a Certificate Provider.  This is an individual who goes through the document with the Donor to ensure that he or she understands its purpose, the scale of its authority and confirms that no fraud or pressure is being used to induce the Donor to create the Power. 
Cotswold Family Law can act as the Certificate Provider when we prepare the Lasting Power for you. If you would like further information about any aspect of Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact us.

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