Powers of Attorney Solicitors
Losing physical or mental capacity is a possibility we must all face. Even the healthiest person could one day be affected by an illness such as dementia, a condition such as stroke, a serious injury after an accident, or simply old age.
However, while you cannot control fate, you can plan for it.
Our friendly Power of Attorney solicitors can help you create a bespoke legal document to entrust your financial and/or health and welfare matters to someone you trust.
This person (or people) will be legally authorised to act as your attorney(s) if you need help making decisions in the future. This could save your family from having to make heart-breaking decisions on your behalf and ensure that your wishes come first at all times.
Get in touch with our Power of Attorney solicitors
Contact us to set up your free initial consultation. We can:
- Help you decide whether making a Power of Attorney is right for you.
- Talk you through the different types of Power of Attorney (i.e. Lasting Power of Attorney, Ordinary Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Attorney).
- Draft your bespoke Power of Attorney on your behalf.
- Help attorneys with their responsibilities under a Power of Attorney
- Help resolve Power of Attorney disputes.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is an increasingly valuable tool in planning for the future and making sure that a person’s financial affairs are properly catered for in the event that they are unable to make such decisions themselves.
The person who makes the Power of Attorney is call the ‘donor’. The person appointed in the Power of Attorney to look after the donor’s affairs is called the ‘attorney’. More than one person can be appointed as an attorney.
For example, a Power of Attorney may allow an attorney to:
- look after the donor’s bank account, savings, and investments
- buy and sell property
- decide where the donor lives
- decide on the donor’s medical treatment
There are three types of Powers of Attorney as follows:
- Ordinary power of attorney (OPA). This is where an attorney the authority to make decisions about the donor’s property and finances. Although the donor still has mental capacity, they may need short term help to manage their affairs, for example because of a temporary illness.
- Lasting power of attorney (LPA) gives an attorney an authority to make decisions about the donor’s property, finances, and welfare, either with the donor’s permission or in the event that they lose capacity.
- Enduring power of attorney (EPA). These are unusual as they only apply to matters correctly formulated and signed before October 2007. They give an attorney authority to make decisions about the donor’s property and also their financial affairs.
Physical or mental incapacity can affect anyone at any time. Individuals can seek a Power of Attorney so, in the event of their being unable to make competent decisions in the future, they can make provisions for who will do so on their behalf and the way in which this will be carried out.
Often when Power of Attorney is sought, it is necessary to consult medical professionals. Our expert's register can assist in obtaining the right expert for your needs. Our register includes various professionals, including psychologists and doctors, whom we can use to provide medical reports to further your objectives.
How many attorneys should you have?
Sometimes it is a good idea to have more than one attorney, in case the first person you consider is later unable to fulfil their obligations, for reasons that did not exist at the time of making the Power of Attorney.
If there are several attorneys, the donor can appoint them to act in a number of differing ways.
- Jointly – Here decisions are taken together. The natural check and balance of agreement being required is often attractive for donors. If, however, due to unforeseen reasons, one attorney loses capacity then the Power of Attorney is no longer valid.
- Jointly and severally – Here all attorneys can act together or independently of one another. This means the Power of Attorney will still be valid even if, for example, an attorney loses mental capacity. Many people find this form of attorney attractive as a lack of capacity in one attorney does not bring the Power of Attorney to an end.
Power of Attorney disputes
On occasions, disputes can arise where an abuse of the power is alleged as a result of a person acting ‘ultra-vires’, in other words beyond their powers. Examples may include gifts to beneficiaries in the absence of court authority.
Our Power of Attorney lawyers will take the time to discuss all different potential scenarios and outcomes with you and will then draft a document specific to your needs.
Why do you need a Power of Attorney?
No one knows what the future holds, so making plans now is the only way to ensure your wishes always come first, even if you lose the ability to make your own decisions.
We know that thinking about a future in which you cannot handle your own financial affairs or personal care can be daunting. However, if you do not make a Power of Attorney, your loved ones could face problems later on in:
- Practical terms – for example, a bank will not allow anyone but the account holder to manage their bank account without a Power of Attorney or court order.
- Emotional terms – if your wishes are not in writing, your family will be forced to make decisions for you without knowing if that is what you truly would have wanted.
- Financial terms –if you do not leave a Lasting Power of Attorney and lose your mental capacity, the only option for your loved ones is to apply to the Court of Protection to make decisions for you. This can be a long, stressful and expensive process.
Our aim is to provide a warm, welcoming environment in which you can feel comfortable to talk through these difficult issues.
The result will be a practical, entirely bespoke and legal Power of Attorney that covers all your needs and empowers the people you trust most to take care of you in the future.
Get in touch with our Power of Attorney solicitors in London
All you need to do to get started is get in touch with our Enduring, Ordinary and Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors in London. We can offer a free initial consultation to discuss your needs and agree a way forward.
We can take your instructions and advise you on what to do next, the way in which to do it and make sure that the relevant documentation is filed in a timely fashion. We will then work proactively to attempt to make progress for you as quickly as possible.