Powers of Attorney & Court of Protection
It is important to consider making the appropriate provisions for how your finances and lifestyle will be managed if you are incapable of making the decisions for yourself.
If you develop dementia, have a severe stroke, or sustain an injury that reduces your mental capacity, it can be a difficult process for relatives to take control of financial, property and lifestyle matters. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place will avoid these complications.
General Power of Attorney
This is usually only to cover a temporary period, such as a long-term holiday, or stay in hospital.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a way of giving someone you trust authority to deal with something on your behalf. There are two types of LPA:
- Property and Financial - This covers financial decisions, from controlling bank accounts, paying bills and collecting benefits to significant choices, such as selling your home. This is available for activation as soon as it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian by you or on your behalf.
- Health and Welfare - This type of LPA covers a number of lifestyle choices, from your daily routine, such as the clothes you wear, to significant life events, including where to live, and the continuation of life-sustaining treatment and medical care.
Powers of Attorney can be as flexible or as restricted as you want them to be and should be tailored to suit your circumstances. LPA’s must be registered correctly with the Office of the Public Guardian, our solicitors will complete this registration process on your behalf.
Your attorney (the person or people you chose to assist you) can include a trusted member of your family or a close friend. Alternatively you can appoint a professional representative, such as a solicitor or accountant. You can also choose to have a single attorney or joint attorneys. The attorneys must always act in your best interests, only on matters set out in the LPA and in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2007. We will help you make the appropriate choices based on your individual circumstances.
Benefits of a Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Your chosen person or people will assist you to make decisions.
- Avoids an expensive and time-consuming Court of Protection application.
- Provides the opportunity to discuss important life decisions.
Every adult should consider having a LPA as you never know when you might need to use it. It is important to remember that you can only set up a LPA while you still have mental capacity, after mental capacity has diminished, an application to the Court of Protection is necessary.
Court of Protection
If a Lasting Power of Attorney has not been set up and you lose mental capacity, then the Court of Protection will appoint a deputy to make decisions on your behalf about your property and finances and, in limited circumstances, your health and welfare.
If you have a relative, friend, or neighbour who is struggling to manage, and lacks the mental capacity to make decisions, then we can apply to the Court of Protection for a deputy to be appointed to help them. We can guide you through this complex process.
The deputy will be responsible for matters such as:
- Day-to-day finances – bank accounts, paying bills and collecting benefits.
- Assets – investment decisions regarding stocks and shares.
- Health and Welfare – seeking guidance from the court on issues such as choosing a care home and sale and purchase of property, decisions regarding treatment and medical care.
We understand that these decisions may need to be made swiftly and so our team of solicitors will act promptly and professionally to ensure an application is submitted as quickly as possible.
For further information, please contact Alison Peel on 01539 720049, or complete the contact form.