Many people reach a stage in their life when they or someone in the family needs help managing their property, financial affairs or personal welfare. These can be trying times for everyone involved, as often the person who most needs the help is the one that least realises what needs to happen. Generally, the solution is granting ‘power of attorney’ (PoA) to a friend, relative or a professional, like a solicitor.
As with all legal matters, granting someone permission to make decisions about another’s finances and welfare should not be taken lightly – and at the very least a written document allowing them to act that lays out the boundaries of their power is needed.
This document is called a “Lasting power of attorney” (LPA) in England and Wales. Scotland has a similar legal framework under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.
Who can draft a lasting power of attorney document?
Either see a solicitor or go to an online legal document library like Net Lawman that has a comprehensive selection of pre-drafted power of attorney documents and detailed information about granting a PoA.
A LPA can be drawn up at any time while the person handing over authority is competent to sign one, but has no legal standing until registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Once registered, a LPA can be used at any time, whether the person handing over authority has the mental ability to act for himself or herself or not.
How does a power of attorney allow someone to act for me?
Lasting powers of attorney cover two areas:
– Property and Affairs – this gives power of attorney for finances and property
– Personal Welfare LPA – this allows someone to make decisions about health care and welfare. These decisions can only be taken when the LPA is registered and the person handing over authority is judged unable to make their own decisions.
Who should be give power of attorney?
Appointing more than one person is always a sensible option – three is good then any contentious decisions have to have a 2-1 vote and counts out a deadlock. It goes without saying the person handing over authority should know and trust the people they appoint and that the appointees can manage their own affairs adequately if they have to manage someone else’s.
Net Lawman has all the power of attorney forms you’ll need.
Ending a power of attorney
Providing the person handing over authority is competent to do so, they may cancel an LPA at any time. If the cancellation is disputed, the Court of Protection has the authority to make a decision.
The Net lawman web site has lots of help, advice and PoA forms about powers of attorney.
A comprehensive guide for someone considering drafting a power of attorney outlines all the points that need to be borne in mind, while another section goes through someone’s personal experience of granting a lasting power of attorney .
Net Lawman Ltd is an English company operated by Andrew R. Taylor. Most legal work is undertaken by Andrew and Rajeev Goswami, following are the
relevant resource: Power of Attorney, Partnership Forms, Software Agreement