Q. Are there any time limits with Lasting Powers of Attorney?

A. The only time limit is that you must have instructed us, approved the Lasting Power of Attorney, signed it and had it registered with the Office of the Public Guardian whilst you still have the mental capacity to understand what you are authorising.

Q. Can I create a lasting Power of Attorney in case I’m unable to make my own decisions in the future?

A. Yes. Providing you are 18 or over and currently able to make your own decisions, you can appoint an attorney. Doing this can give you peace of mind about the future. To be valid, a Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. We can explain the process to you in plain English, and answer any questions you have.

Q. I disagree with the decisions that a Power of Attorney is making on behalf of my elderly mother, is there anything I can do?

A. It’s best to speak to a legal expert to find out what your options are. There are a number of factors to consider such as whether the Power of Attorney was properly registered and what your mother’s state of mind was when she appointed a Power of Attorney.

Q. What can I authorise the person appointed to do for me under a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A. Your Attorney as they are known will be able to do many things – you can also add restrictions or limits to areas where you would not want them to have the power to act. Areas that are often included:

  • Operate your bank account
  • Re-arrange your investments
  • Sell your property
  • Make gifts on your behalf if these were previously made on a regular basis
  • Make decisions about your healthcare
  • Make decisions about your medical treatment, for example consenting to or refusing treatment on your behalf
  • Decide where you should live•Decide who looks after you on a day-to-day basis
Q. What decisions is a Power of Attorney able to make?

A. This depends on the type of Power of Attorney that has been created. For example, an Attorney may have been given power to make decisions about property and finance but not about health issues.

Q. What happens exactly if I decide to go ahead with a Power of Attorney?

A. We will discuss with you what you would like to include – as well as any restrictions or conditions. You tell us who you would like to appoint including any back up person, and we confirm – if we are able – that you still possess the mental capacity to draft your Lasting Power of Attorney.

 

We check you are happy and that you understand the contents of the document. We then arrange for you to sign it and register it with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) – this is essential as the document has to be registered before it can be relied upon.

Q. When should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A. It makes sense to prepare it as soon as possible. You must certainly do it whilst you have mental capacity and are still able to comprehend what you are signing.

Q. Who should I appoint to look after my affairs if I lost capacity?

A. Most people choose their partner, a member of their family or a trusted friend. Another option is that you can appoint your lawyer.

You can also choose different people for different purposes – for example you could have one person appointed to look after your finances and another for making decisions relating to your health. You must be clear if you want them to act together or if they can act individually.

It also makes sense to appoint a ‘back up’ person in case the person named is unable to act.

Q. Why would I ever need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A. If you lose what is called your mental capacity, the Law views you as being incapable of making decisions about your finances, any medical treatment or who looks after you.

The only way around this is to have appointed someone in advance as your Attorney using what is called a Lasting Power of Attorney. This allows them to take decisions on your behalf.

Q. Wouldn’t my partner automatically be able to take charge if I lost my mental capacity?

A. No, the Law doesn’t work that way – even where you are married or in a Civil Partnership. Only a Lasting Power of Attorney can ensure your wishes are observed as you would like.

Give us a call on 01628 533 444 or email us info@black-law.co.uk