LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY
PROPERTY AND AFFAIRS: LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY
If a person becomes unable to manage his or her affairs due to incapacity whether due to an accident, physical or mental illness, then it is essential that a Lasting Power of Attorney is in place.
Without this document and its authorisation, no one, including your spouse or partner, would be allowed to conduct your personal affairs. This would include paying your bills, looking after your banking, managing your investments, caring for your property or looking after your business.
This document allows you to choose a person or persons known as Attorney(s), to make all necessary decisions on your behalf, subject to the authority you give them in the document. This document must be registered before it can be used, though you can specify that it can only be used if you lose mental capacity.
NOTE: If you own property jointly with your spouse/partner, then there should be at least one other Attorney chosen besides your spouse/partner.
By planning ahead and producing a Lasting Power of Attorney you are able to appoint trustworthy persons, giving them clear instructions and setting boundaries as to how they are to handle your affairs should you be unable to do so in the future.
No one can create a power of attorney for you and you must create one whilst you are mentally capable of doing so. This can help prevent the misuse and abuse of a person’s assets.
How much might it cost to become a Deputy?
If you fail to create a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you are capable then anyone who wishes to act on your behalf, including your spouse or partner, has to apply through the Court of Protection, which can be a lengthy and expensive process.
Not only would you and your family have to come to terms with the upset and emotions the illness or accident creates but you would also have the added strain of dealing with officials for every decision.
If someone is appointed as Deputy by the Court, there would still be restrictions on what they could do without the permission of the Court.
Application Fee £400.00
Hearing Fee £500.00
Assessment Fee £100.00
General Supervision Fee £320.00 pa
*Source: (October 2016)
It is also possible a security bond may be required and the Court may also ask for Medical Evidence to be presented that can cost in the region of £500 to prepare.
In the first year alone the cost could be up to £1800.00. These costs can be eliminated by purchasing and producing a Lasting Power of Attorney.
HEALTH & WELFARE: LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY
This personal welfare document deals with matters relating to your social and health care needs. If in the future you lack the ability to look after your own wellbeing, this document will entitle your Health and Welfare Attorney(s) to make choices on the following types of things:
Deciding where you live.
Day to day decisions about what you will eat or the clothes you wear.
Decisions about medical care and the treatment you will receive.
Deciding when and where you will go on holiday.
Deciding what social activities you might participate in.
You have the option of placing restrictions in the above Lasting Power of Attorney but these documents can only be used after they have been accepted and registered with the Public Guardianship Office.