When Should I Draw Up A Power Of Attorney?
I have recently retired and wondering when/if I should draw up a Power of Attorney document. The subject is a bit of a taboo amongst friends, but I feel I should look into it.
With regard to appointing Power of Attorney, this is best done as soon as possible. If you have not appointed a Power of Attorney and you become unable to look after your affairs through; illness, an accident or old age, then your loved ones will have no legal right to look after you in the way you would like, even if you have informally expressed your wishes.
There are different types of Power of Attorney, however, the most common is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This is a legal document appointing someone else to act on your behalf if you become ill or lack mental capacity. In order to make an LPA you must be capable of making decisions for yourself; you must have mental capacity.
This is why it is important to complete the LPA document as soon as possible, to be sure your future care and affairs are decided by you.
There are two types of LPA: Welfare and Financial.
The LPA for welfare could give the appointed person the authority to decide what type of care you are to receive or what type of accommodation is appropriate for you. They could also give or withhold consent for medical treatment.
The financial LPA gives wide powers over all aspects of your finances. This can include; opening and closing bank accounts, selling property, managing savings or investments, managing or winding down a business.
Therefore, it is important that you choose someone that you trust to be appointed as Attorney, as they have a great deal of power and responsibility. However, they must always act in your best interest, and can only do the things that you have authorised them to do. It is useful to appoint someone who is good at financial management and keeping complete records.
Completing a LPA will give you confidence that in the unfortunate event that you lose mental capacity, you will have had a say in; how you are cared for, where you are to live and what medical treatment you do/do not receive. In addition, your finances will be managed by someone you have carefully chosen and trust to act in your best interest. Without a LPA in place then, in the event you lose metal capacity for any reason, these decisions will be taken away from you and your loved ones
It is not expensive or time consuming to draw up a LPA and it can be done in the comfort of your own home. Contact Gerard James Estate Planning today on 07905 748073. We can talk through the cost and the process with you. We conduct all meetings at a time and location to suit you and the cost for a complete set of documents is around £600 for a couple. This includes both financial and welfare LPAs for both people. Please note, the Office of the Public Guardian also charge a registration fee of £110 per LPA.