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Lasting Powers of Attorney
Security and peace of mind for you and your family
Many people have a misconception that Lasting Powers of Attorney only relate to elderly clients who are losing mental capacity. This understanding is not entirely correct and could potentially result in a magnitude of problems and frustrations.
The Lasting Powers of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint your attorneys to assist in the management of your affairs, if you require such assistance. This can be due to psychical or mental impairment.
The Lasting Powers of Attorney is not to be confused with a Will. The provisions of a Will come into effect when a person passes away. The Lasting Powers of Attorney gives authority to your Attorneys and allows them to assist you during your lifetime.
Some people feel that the preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney can be postponed until a later date. We disagree.
In order to prepare the Lasting Powers of Attorney, you must have mental capacity to do so. If you do not have the mental capacity then it is no longer an option. The point that we are making is that no one knows when they are going to lose mental capacity or say, suffer from a stroke. For this reason, we feel it is best to plan ahead to ensure the right people, who you want, can assist with your affairs, should it become necessary.
Types of Lasting Powers of Attorney
There are two types:
Lasting Power of Attorney (Property and Financial Affairs)
As the name suggests, this document allows your nominated Attorneys to assist with your property and financial affairs including managing your money and buying/selling investments and property. The document also allows your Attorneys to manage your day to day income and expenses. This includes receiving pension payments, settling utility bills and paying care home fees. Your attorneys will be able to exercise their powers as soon as the document has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Lasting Power of Attorney (Health and Welfare)
This document allows your Attorneys to assist and make decisions about your health and well being such as what type of care you should receive, where you should receive care, refusal of life sustaining/ palliative care treatment. In the absence of such powers, decisions may be made by the Local Authority or NHS Trust provided they can substantiate a case to show it is in your best interest. This is where things can go wrong.
For example, you may have specific wishes about resuscitation or life sustaining treatment. You may have strong views about receiving care at your own home where you are comfortable. Although acting in a professional capacity, a stranger may not necessarily know what you would have wanted. Of course, such decisions may be made with the best of intentions but it may not necessarily be what you would have wanted.
If you want to ensure your wishes are respected and carried out then appoint your Attorneys so they can advocate on your behalf. When the decision relates to your health and welfare, your Attorneys can only exercise their powers (1) once the document has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and (2) you are unable to make decisions about your health and welfare.
Our services include:
- Providing general advice on Lasting Powers of Attorneys
- Preparing the Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Registering the Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Acting and assisting as professional Attorney
- Making applications to the Court of Protection (e.g. lifetime gifts, remuneration of attorneys and removal of attorneys)
- Advising Attorneys on their duties and responsibilities in line with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act and Code of Practice.
- Assisting in disputes arising between Attorneys
In most cases, we will offer a fixed fee service which is competitive and transparent.
Home Visit Service - Going The Extra Mile
We appreciate that some clients may prefer to meet outside an office environment. This can be due to many reasons such as personal circumstances, confidentiality and convenience.
We offer home visits and out of office appointments so we can discuss your legal queries and instructions at a place convenient for you; whether at home, work place, care home or hospital. We apply a nominal fee for this service and please enquire for further details.
To talk to us further please phone us on 020 8290 7354 to make an appointment. If you are unable to come to the office, one of our solicitors will visit you in the comfort of your home.