What is a Power of Attorney ?
It’s a written document that lets you give legal authority to other people i.e. your attorney(s), to make decisions on your behalf. The Power of Attorney lists all of the specific individual powers you wish your attorneys to have. You will need to arrange for your own Power of Attorney document to be drafted, as we don’t provide this.
Are there different types of Power of Attorney ?
Yes, you can have a: Continuing Power of Attorney– for decisions to be made about your property and financial affairs. Welfare Power of Attorney –for decisions to be made about your health and welfare matters. However the majority of people make a combined Power of Attorney to allow decisions to be taken about their financial affairs and personal welfare.
When is your Power of Attorney to begin?
If you want to give continuing powers, you need to decide when the continuing attorneys are to begin acting for you. This could be right away as soon as the Power of Attorney is registered with us or at a later date i.e. in the event of your incapacity. Welfare Power of Attorneys only begin if you become incapable of making decisions about your own welfare.
Who can be your Attorney?
Your attorney should be someone you trust, someone who knows what your wishes and feelings are. It’s important to make sure you have the same understanding about how and when your Power of Attorney is to be used. You can appoint anyone as your attorney such as, a relative, friend, a solicitor, spouse / partner. Attorneys must be over the age of 16 and, and if you give continuing powers they must not be bankrupt.
There is no limit to the amount of attorneys you can have. It’s worth thinking about appointing more than one just in case something should happen. You can appoint joint and or substitute attorneys. Attorneys must confirm that they are willing to act. Granting sufficient powers to your attorney – Think about the short and longer term to ensure you give your attorneys sufficient powers to make decisions for you. Power of Attorneys can include powers such as; dealing with your bank accounts, pension, payments, investments, deciding where you should live.
If your attorney is only to make decisions for you if you become incapable, you will need to think about how your incapacity is to be determined. This information must be stated in your Power of Attorney document. It’s also good practice to say who you want to make this decision e.g. it could be a GP or someone else you trust.
Where can I get a Power of Attorney from?
We can help you to draft a Power of Attorney and will give you legal advice. Once your Power of Attorney is drafted you will need to be interviewed – This interview is carried out by us to assess that you fully understand what you are doing. If we are satisfied with this, we will complete and sign the prescribed certificate confirming so.
Please note that at present Powers of Attorney are taking five months to be Registered at the Office of the Public Guardian