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What is Power of Attorney?

This is the first in a series of articles on the vital but often overlooked role a Lasting power attorney can afford you.

The benefits of making a Will are widely known, however have you ever thought about who would look after your affairs if you were unable to do so due to incapacity whether physical or mental?

It is a common misunderstanding that your family will be able to automatically handle your affairs on your behalf, when in reality this is not the case.

If you lose capacity and do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney then a relative or close friend will need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy.  Unfortunately this process is both complex and time consuming, often the process can take months, and during which time you will have no control over their affairs.

The solution is a Lasting Power of Attorney

A lasting power of attorney is completed whilst you are capable so you can choose the person(s) you trust to handle your affairs if at some date in the future you are not able to.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney – Property and Affairs which concerns all your financial affairs, which for example would allow your attorney to pay everyday bill and operate your bank account and the other is Welfare which refers to personal matters such as your health. It is important to note that you do not have to have both types of LPA and you do not need to have the same attorneys for both.

Legal Requirements

There are strict requirements to follow when registering LPA’s as they must comply with the Mental Health Act 2005.

Once you have completed the appropriate forms the LPA is registered with the Office of Public Guardian. Before registering notice must be given of the intention to do so. This allows any person whom the notice has been given to, to object the application for registration by your attorney(s).

Our next article will look at who needs an LPA

If you have any questions on this article or any area of LPA will and trusts please call 01202 802807 to arrange a free initial appointment with Paul Solomons at our office in Westbourne, Bournemouth or our Consultancy room in Christchurch.

Paul Solomons has over 25 years’ experience in the creating, handling and registration of powers of attorney and would be happy to answer any queries you may have.

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