Power of Attorney Solicitors
We recommend that each individual should consider putting a Power of Attorney in place. This is a document in which you appoint those who you would wish to look after your affairs in the event of you being unable to deal with your own affairs, whether temporarily or permanently, through accident, illness or old age.
A Power of Attorney can cover two distinct areas:
- The continuing side – dealing with your legal and financial affairs; and
- The welfare side – dealing with your welfare including amongst other things, where you live and what medical treatment you might receive.
Although we usually combine these two areas in a single document, it is also possible to separate them. It is possible to have the continuing powers come into effect whilst you still have the mental ability to deal with your own affairs but the welfare powers can only come into effect when you no longer have the ability to do so.
Those who you appoint as your attorneys should be people you trust and as far as the welfare appointment is concerned, someone who knows you and your wishes well. Your attorneys do not require to have specific financial or other skills. Their role is to ensure that your affairs are being correctly looked after, with additional professional input where required. We can also offer attorneys support and assistance for their responsibilities.
While a Will ensures that your estate is distributed according to your wishes following your death, a Power of Attorney is used to ensure your wishes are given effect to whilst you are still alive even if you are not I a position to voice them.
No. The law does not allow a relative or a loved one to step in. Without a POA they could face an expensive and lengthy court process just to enable them to deal with your affairs.
No. You can have as many people as you wish. However, they must be 16 years of age or older, and you must state if they are to act together or on their own when making decisions on your behalf.
If worded correctly, you can give your attorney(s) authority to deal with your finances as soon as your document is registered, or you can freeze these powers until you lose the mental ability to make your own decisions. Welfare powers can only be used once you can no longer make decisions about your own welfare.
Yes. For long as you are able to make decisions, you can amend your POA at any time.
Yes. You can cancel your POA at any time, as long as you have the mental capacity to do so.
Power of Attorney – Guide to Fees
The cost of preparing a Power of Attorney is £300. Where you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting a £100 discount will be applied where a Power of Attorney is prepared for each of you.
There will also be an outlay payable to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration of the document.