Power of Attorney and Advance Decision

What Is a Power of Attorney and What Does It Mean?

A power of attorney is a legal document in which you give one person or more, authority to make decisions or to act on your behalf. You decide who you wish to appoint and the documents may save you and your family a huge amount of time and hassle should you lose mental capacity. 

You can give another person authority to act on your behalf whilst you have mental capacity, to make a decision in an ordinary power of attorney. This could be useful, for example, if you are overseas for a period of time. 

You can also give someone the right to make decisions your behalf if you lose mental capacity in a lasting power of attorney.

Lasting Power Of Attorney

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

  • Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney - You can give authority to one or more nominee to manage your financial affairs. 
  • Health and Welfare Power of Attorney - This document gives your nominee(s) authority to decide things such as where you live, what sort of medical care you receive including the possible refusal of life sustaining treatment. 

Lasting Power of Attorney need to be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian in order to be used. 

Enduring Power of Attorney

Some people have an enduring power of attorney made before 2007. These documents are still valid and may be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian should you start to lose mental capacity.

How to Put A Legal Power of Attorney in Place

You can contact the Office of the Public Guardian for an information pack or use their website.  

Getting good advice about these decisions is very important and you may wish to speak to a solicitor who will guide you in your particular circumstances.

Advance Care Decision

An Advance Decision states what medial treatment you may wish to refuse or consent to if you lose mental capacity in the future. 

These are sometimes referred to as living wills, or advance statements.

Deputyship

Someone may apply to court on your behalf, if you have lost mental capacity, to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs, should you not be able to do so yourself. 


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