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   INFO - Powers of Attorney


Power of Attorney is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

 

 

Power of Attorney

Enduring Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney

 

Why all the different names and what do they mean?

 

       When you need someone you trust to help deciding...

 

 

Topical Issues

 

The concept of 'Power of Attorney'

 

In its simplest form, a Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby you give someone else the power to act on your behalf (normally in a specific transaction).

 

As long as you are well and in control of things everything is fine. The problems arise if you lose ‘mental capacity’ due to e.g. an accident, injury, a stroke, progression of an illness or other causes.

 

If that happens, all simple (less formal) ‘Powers of Attorney’ automatically become invalid - and nobody may be able to make significant decisions on your behalf, even if that is what you would have wanted.

 

In such situations the only option is for your relatives, friends (or others who may need to act on your behalf) to apply to the Court of Protection which in due course will appoint somebody that can make the necessary decisions.

 

                                              

 

The Court of Protection (COP) is a relatively new institution and was created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to makes decisions, and appoints other people to make decisions, for people who lack the capacity to do this for themselves.

 

These decisions relate to the property and affairs, and healthcare and personal welfare of adults (and occasionally children) who lack capacity.

 

An application to the Court of Protection can be a cumbersome, stressful and time-consuming experience and can cause vital delays in situations where the need for action is most urgent.

 

To avoid such a situation of 'limbo' a formal legally binding form of ‘Power of Attorney’ is needed. In the past these were called 'Enduring Powers of Attorney' or EPAs.

 

Although existing EPAs will continue top be valid all new ‘Powers of Attorney’ will be classified as 'Lasting Powers of Attorney' or LPAs, and have a wider remit than the older EPAs did.   

 

A Lasting Power of Attorney lets you appoint someone to make decisions about your welfare, money or property but can take up to nine weeks to get registered.

 

It is important to understand that an LPA cannot be used until it is formally registered with the Office of the Public Guardian which is the ‘executive’ arm of the Court of Protection.

 

The Attorney(s) that you appoint in your LPA have a quite wide-ranging discretionary powers and can make decisions for you when or if you no longer wish to or if/when you should lose the mental capacity to do so.

 

The benefits of a Lasting Power of Attorney

 

A Lasting Power of Attorney will enable you to decide and plan how your health, wellbeing and financial affairs are looked after and allows you to plan, in advance, the decisions you want to be made on your behalf should you lose capacity to make them yourself.

 

Importantly, an LPA also allows you to appoint the people that you want to make these decisions and stipulate how you want these people to make the decisions.

 

Having a Lasting Power of Attorney is a safe and sensible way of maintaining control over decisions made for you due to a number of reasons:

 

1) It has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used

 

2) You can choose the person(s) that will provide the 'certificate' confirming that you understand the significance and purpose of what you’re agreeing to

 

3) You can choose who gets told about your Lasting Power of Attorney when it is registered (so they have an opportunity to raise concerns)

 

4) Your signature and the signatures of your chosen attorneys must be witnessed

 

5) Your chosen attorney(s) must follow the Code of Practice of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and act in your best interest.

 

6) The Office of the Public Guardian provides helpful support and advice

 

You should note that there are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

 

One is the Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney and the other is the

Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney. A brief description of both and their purpose is given below:

 

Health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to choose one or more people to make decisions for things such as medical treatment. A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used if you lack the ability to make decisions for yourself.

 

Property and financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney lets you choose one or more people to make property and financial affairs decisions for you.

 

This could include decisions about paying bills or selling your home. You can appoint someone as an attorney to look after your property and financial affairs at any time.

 

You can also include a condition that means that the attorney can only make decisions when/if you lose the ability to do so yourself.

 

As an LPA can transfer quite wide-ranging decision-making powers to others it is recommended that you seek suitable independent, professional advice before creating such a legally binding document.

 

 

 

 

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of  your Power of Attorney arrangements

 

Phone: 01603 452686

 

 

e-mail: info@norwichpensions.co.uk

 
     

 

 

 

 

 

Norwich Financial Advice Limited  is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

and is entered on the FCA Register under FCA reference: 706645

Norwich Financial Advice Ltd. is registered in England and Wales; Company No. 8533929.  

Registered office: 74 Muriel Road, Norwich NR2 3NZ, Norfolk, England.