Can you appoint more than one person to have Power of Attorney?
You can have as many attorneys as you like but for administrative ease we suggest that you have no more than four. You can also appoint replacement attorneys.
Are there different types of Lasting Power of Attorney?
Yes there are, in fact there are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney. One deals with property and finances, whilst the other deals with health and welfare.
Lasting Power of Attorney’s dealing with property and financial matters are used to pass the power of attorney over to a family member or someone you trust so they can make decisions for you and on your behalf about financial issues. They would be then allowed to make decisions regarding selling your house, dealing with any benefits, your bank accounts or investments on your behalf. They would also be allowed to pay bills on your behalf.
The Lasting Power of Attorney that deals with health and welfare aspects, such as where you live, whether in care or otherwise, what you can eat and even the clothes you wear.
The major difference between the two Lasting Power of Attorney’s is that the financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can be used whilst the person still has the mental capacity to deal with these affairs themselves – if they chose so. The health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney only comes into effect when the person loses that capacity.
What sort of finances can be paid by a person with Power of Attorney?
Your attorneys can deal with all aspects of your property and financial affairs using the Lasting Power of Attorney unless you expressly exclude them dealing with a particular asset. For example if you have a particularly expensive art collection you may wish to state an instruction or preference that they take professional valuation advice before they act in relation to the collection. An instruction must be followed, whilst a preference is just that.
Can I choose when a Lasting Power of Attorney comes into effect?
Yes, you can choose whether your Lasting Power of Attorney can be used before you lose mental capacity or stipulate that it can only come into effect once you lose the capacity to deal with finances or things like your own welfare.
What is the role of the Office of Public Guardianship and what might need to be referred to this organisation?
The Office of the Public Guardian is an executive agency who protect the interests of those who lack capacity. They deal with the registration of the LPA’s and a major part of their function is to centralise records of dealings with and protection of the vulnerable. The OPG operate a register of LPA’s and if an original is lost then further copies can be issued. As part of their safeguarding role if anyone has any concerns in relation to an attorneys actions or if they believe that the donor is in some way vulnerable then these concerns can be reported to the OPG and they will make enquiries.
What should I do next?
Contact the expert solicitors at Stephensons today. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place ensures that you and your family are protected from any distressing legal battles, as they will be allowed, by law, to look after your best interests immediately following the event you lose the mental capacity to deal with those aspects yourself.
For expert advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney call the specialist solicitors at Stephensons on 0203 837 3658 today.