Powers of Attorney
We still refer to these as new! Couldn't tell you why as they have been around for ages!! Most people have now heard of lasting powers of attorney. There is still some confusion about what they are and what they do though.
There are two types of lasting powers. A health and welfare lasting power and a property and affairs lasting power.
The property and affairs lasting power of attorney does what it says on the tin. It lets people you know and trust help manage your financial affairs. This is not just when you lack capacity but from the moment the power is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
The health and welfare is a little more complicated in that in allows people you know and trust to make decisions in relation to your health and welfare needs but only from the moment you lack capacity to make that particular decision. It also allows you to choose whether you wish your attorneys to be able to make decisions about life sustaining treatment.
Whether you choose to prepare one or both you can have as many attorneys as you wish, choose replacement attorneys if your first choice cannot act, impose restrictions and conditions on them if you have particular things you do or do not want them to do. Be careful however in adding restrictions and conditions as you need to make sure that the Court are not going to consider them incompatible to the power.
With a lasting power of attorney you need to have a certificate provider to confirm that you have capacity to make the power and to confirm you are not being influenced into doing so. That can be a professional with the relevant experience or someone who has known you for more than two years.
Powers of attorney are not just useful for daily life, paying bills and having a second pair of ears for medical issues they are also really useful for business owners.
Having a property and affairs lasting power of attorney means that in the event a business owner becomes incapable of managing their business their attorneys can step in and act on the behalf. This will ensure that a business can continue, staff get paid and contracts can be fulfilled whilst the business owner gets back on their feet.
At Argo we believe these documents are vitally important for everyone over the age of eighteen. Whilst we hope the worst will never happen it should still be planned for. Use a lasting power of attorney as insurance for the what if and make sure your family can concentrate on you in the event of incapacity rather than worrying about the other stuff!
It is important you take advice in relation to preparing these documents. We are only too happy to help.