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The benefits of a lasting power of attorney

View profile for Ben Jones
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A lasting power of attorney is a very powerful document that you use to give someone the right to manage your affairs. You decide who to appoint and decide the terms of their appointment. It must be registered with a court before it can be used which keeps everything open and on the record.

There is quite a common misunderstanding about how this works. It is very important to note that this is a power you choose to give to others. Not something that somebody takes from or imposes on you. You should never allow it to be imposed on you against your will.

Once power of attorney is in place it lasts until you cancel it, or your attorneys can act, or the court makes an order, or you die.

There are two types of power of attorney covering 2 different areas. You can have either or both and you can put them in place separately or both at the same time. The types are a) finance & property and b) health & welfare.

Finance covers everything you own. Your attorney can make decisions about your accounts, pay your bills (from your money), apply for and collect benefits on your behalf or manage investments.

Health allows your attorney to make decisions relating to your medical care such as moving into sheltered accommodation or a care home and about whether you receive life sustaining treatment.

Anything attorneys do must be in your best interests and if you can make a decision for yourself then that decision stands. Attorneys cannot over rule you. They are there to help you make decisions and to make decisions when you no longer can.

Power of attorney can only be granted by a person with capacity. That means that they understand the full impact, benefit and risks involved in giving someone else this much power over their life and do so voluntarily. For this reason it is best to put it in place before there are any questions about your health. Then you have insurance against the difficulties that can arise in later life.

A properly implemented power of attorney allows you to give power over your affairs to someone you trust and gives control over their decisions. Once implemented it is there for you when it is needed.

If you would like to discuss a lasting power of attorney can be used to benefit you or someone in your family in more detail, please contact Ben Jones on 01923 650852 or at bjones@hancockquins.co.uk

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.
 

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