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What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document authorising a person, chosen by you to make decisions for you and to act on your behalf. You can continue to make your own decisions for as long as you have the capacity or until you decide to pass responsibility to your Attorney.

Why Should I Get a Power of Attorney?

Very simply at some stage in your life, you may not be able to look after your affairs because of mental or physical incapacities. You can use a Power of Attorney for a temporary period if you are in the hospital and need help with your finances or a PoA can be used for a permanent period.

Do I Have the Choice of Who Looks After My Affairs?

Yes, by signing a Power of Attorney you specify in the legal document who you want to look after your personal affairs. The person should be someone you trust and is happy to look after your property, finances and physical welfare. No one can act on your behalf without your legal authority. You can name more than one person to look after your affairs.

What happens once you have a Power of Attorney completed?

McEwan Fraser Legal will register the legal document with the public guardian office to be used if necessary at any relevant time in the future

Can I change my Power of Attorney?

Yes, you can make changes to your Power of Attorney at any time throughout your life, providing it has been registered and as long as you still have the mental capacity to make decisions

Do I need a solicitor to arrange a Power of Attorney?

It is much easier and simpler to get your solicitor to act for you as you will need a professional person to produce a certificate that you fully understand what you are doing and haven’t been put under any pressure to sign a PoA. A solicitor will normally need to meet you to confirm you have the capacity to sign.

What Responsibilities Does Your Attorney Have?

Generally an Attorney can make decisions about anything to do with your health and your personal well-being. This includes decisions about medical treatment where you are covered and for any type of care you will receive. The Attorney must act in your best interests at all times and you can specify in the PoA what consent your Attorney can have.

What is the difference between a continuing Power of Attorney and a welfare Power of Attorney?

A continuing Power of Attorney can be used to help with all personal matters before you are incapable but decisions about your welfare cannot be made unless you are no longer able to do so yourself.

What is the difference between a Guardianship and a Power of Attorney?

Both are very much the same but a Power of Attorney can be only be granted from an individual who can fully understand and explain their wishes while a guardianship only applies when a person is unable to make decisions on their own. It is therefore much easier to have a Power of Attorney in place because to get a guardianship order for someone who does not have the capacity you must apply to the courts, which can be a time consuming and costly process.

Summary

Remember, 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 dies with dementia, so having a PoA in place can help your loved ones make decisions quickly about important decisions in your life.

Please contact us on 0845 210 2121 to discuss or arrange a no-obligation meeting.

Do you need a Power of Attorney?