Preparing for Old Age
Whether you need advice for yourself or for an elderly relative or friend we can advise on matters such as making a will, appointing an attorney, making a living will, protecting the family home and other issues on which you may need assistance.
Power of attorney
Lasting Power of Attorney
Making a lasting Power of Attorney means that you can decide who you would like to make decisions for you in respect of your financial and property affairs, or health and welfare in the event that you are ever unable to make these kinds of decisions for yourself.
If you ever were unable to manage your affairs, for example through loss of mental capacity, illness of injury, your family and friends may find themselves in the position that they cannot make these decisions for you. This could potentially leave you in a very vulnerable position, for example if your money could not be accessed on your behalf to pay for your accommodation, food or care.
A Lasting Power of Attorney can be used if you still have mental capacity but do not want to have the worry of dealing with your own financial affairs.
A Lasting Power of Attorney can also include guidance to your Attorneys and restrictions, affecting the decisions they can make. This means that even if you were to lose the capacity to deal with your own affairs, you can maintain some control over the decisions your Attorney will make on your behalf.
We also ensure that the Lasting Power of Attorney is registered at the Office of the Public Guardian as part of our services, as this must be done before an Attorney can exercise any of the powers granted to them by a Lasting Power of Attorney.
After you Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered, we will store it for you free of charge for as long as you wish us to. We can also provide certified copies to yourself or your Attorney for their use at any time, for a small copying fee.
For further guidance please see a comprehensive Guide to Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare
Enduring Power of Attorney
Prior to 1st October 2007, it was possible to make an Enduring Power of Attorney. Lasting Powers of Attorney have since that date replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney.
It is the duty of the Attorney appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney to ensure that the document is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian as soon as the person who made the Enduring Power of Attorney loses the mental capacity to manage their own affairs. Our Private Client team is able to assist Attorneys with this process. We can also offer advice and assistance should any objections to the registration of the Enduring Power of Attorney be made.
General Power of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney can grant someone authority to deal with your affairs on a temporary basis i.e. to manage your property whilst you are working abroad. They can also grant a person authority to deal with only limited matters i.e. to handle a financial transaction for you.
General Powers of Attorney can also grant wide powers to someone to deal with all of your affairs until you revoke the power. However a General Power of Attorney becomes invalid if you subsequently lose your mental capacity.
Court of protection
If a person has not made an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney during their lifetime the situation may arise that no one has the authority to deal with their affairs on their behalf. This can cause difficulty for the family caring for this person, and potentially leave them in a very vulnerable position, for example if the person’s property must be sold to pay for their care or their money cannot be accessed to pay for their food and other essential expenses.
If you are caring for someone, and have found yourself in this situation, then we can assist you in making an application to the Court of Protection to become that person’s Deputy. If the Deputyship order is granted by the Court, this will grant you the authority to manage that person’s affairs on their behalf.
The Court of Protection is also able to make interim orders during the application process if necessary. This is often very useful if there is an urgent need to access someone’s assets to pay their mounting care costs or other people seeking immediate payment.
We are also able to offer assistance to people who have already been appointed as a Deputy by the Court of Protection.
By making what is commonly called a living will you can give directions in advance about the medical treatment to be given to you in a situation where you are mentally or physically incapable of giving instructions to your medical attendants.
It will allow you to state that in certain circumstances no further medical treatment is to be given to you.
You may also wish to consider appointing a trusted friend or relative to act as your attorney to make decisions about your medical treatment on your behalf should you become incapable of making your own.