Becoming physically or mentally incapable of looking after your own affairs can cause problems for both for you and your family unless you plan ahead.
None of us like to think that we will ever be in a position where we are physically or mentally incapable of looking after our own affairs but with an ageing population it is highly probable that most of us will need help to manage our affairs at some point in our lives .
By planning ahead and creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can appoint someone you know and trust to take control of, or assist you with, your financial or personal welfare decisions if you lose the capability to make decisions for yourself.
Lasting Powers of Attorney replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney in October 2007. There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, one for financial affairs and the other for health and welfare decisions. A Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney gives your Attorney authority to deal with your finances, pay your bills, decide how your financial affairs are managed and even assist in selling your house if required. Such documents are extremely valuable if you ever lose the ability to deal with your own affairs, whether temporarily or permanently.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare gives your Attorney the authority to make decisions with regard to issues such as where you might live if you require residential or nursing accommodation, who is able to visit you and decisions about life sustaining treatment or the decision to accept or decline particular medical treatments.
If an individual does not have sufficient capacity to create a valid Lasting Power of Attorney, an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection so that a "Deputy” can be appointed to take control of their affairs.
It is possible for a friend, relative or solicitor to make an application to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order giving them authority to manage your financial affairs as an Attorney would do. If you have not created a Lasting Power of Attorney and a Deputyship order is required, you will not have any say in who is appointed to act on your behalf.
The application process to obtain a Deputyship Order is complicated and time consuming and specialist advice is recommended before taking action.
For more information on how Clough & Willis can help contact Sally Cook, firstname.lastname@example.org, Karen Yates email@example.com; Rebecca Green, firstname.lastname@example.org, Howard Burns email@example.com; or firstname.lastname@example.org