There is the general misconception that Powers of Attorney are for the older person. In fact this couldn’t be further from the truth and we recommend that everyone considers the benefits of making a Power of Attorney and the consequences of not having a Power of Attorney in place. A Power of Attorney is essentially a document in which you (“the Donor”) appoint someone of your choice (“the Attorney”) to act on your behalf and to take a particular type of decision for you. There are three different types of Powers of Attorney, namely a General Power of Attorney, an enduring Power of Attorney and a Lasting Power of Attorney.
The General Power of Attorney is the simplest form of Power of Attorney. It can be used immediately once executed by the Donor in respect of the property and financial affairs. A General Power of Attorney is usually made for a specific purpose e.g. for a conveyancing transaction and for a temporary period. The General Power of Attorney will automatically be revoked should the Donor become mentally incapable or on the Donor’s death.
It is no longer possible to make a new Enduring Power of Attorney but existing Enduring Powers of Attorney can continue to be used to help the Donor manage their property and financial affairs provided that they have been correctly executed and that they have not been revoked.
Unlike General Powers of Attorney an Enduring Power of Attorney can continue to be used if the Donor should become mentally incapable of managing their property and financial affairs at which point these must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Enduring Powers of Attorney will automatically be revoked on the Donor’s death. In October 2007 the mental Capacity Act 2005 introduced a new style Power of Attorney called a Lasting Power of Attorney.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, namely in respect of the Donor’s property and financial affairs as well as their health and personal welfare. Both types of Lasting Powers of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.
Once registered the Lasting Power of Attorney relating to the Donor’s property and financial affairs can be used immediately unless this has been postponed e.g. until such time as the Donor should become mentally incapable of managing their property and financial affairs. It can continue to be used if the Donor should become mentally incapable but will automatically be revoked by their death.
Lasting Powers of Attorney relating to the Donor’s health and personal welfare can however, only be used once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and only if and when the Donor should
become mentally incapable. Again it will automatically be revoked on the Donor’s death.
Our Private Client Solicitor will be pleased to meet with you to discuss your circumstances and requirements, review your existing Power of Attorney with you and advise you whether this is appropriate for your needs and make any necessary recommendations to you.
A Lasting Power of Attorney Could Literally Save your Life – click here for more details
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