We recommend that everyone grants a Power of Attorney as a safeguard against unforeseen events. If you have a Power of Attorney in place and circumstances arise whereby you are unable to act on your own behalf, your affairs can be dealt with in a simple manner with the minimum of formality, interruption and expense, by someone you trust. If you have not granted a Power of Attorney, but one is required, the only alternative is a time consuming and costly application to the courts for a guardianship or intervention order.
You can create two types of Power of Attorney:
- Continuing (financial) Power of Attorney PoA, authorising your Attorneys to make decisions to do with money or property
- Welfare Power of Attorney, authorising your Attorneys to make decisions about your health and personal welfare.
When choosing your Attorneys you can appoint one person to deal with financial matters and someone different to deal with personal welfare. Alternatively you could give the same attorneys powers over both your financial affairs and welfare matters. You can appoint anyone you trust, including a relative, friend or a professional person such as a solicitor or accountant, or a combination. However, we recommend that more than one person is appointed in case one cannot act for any reason.
Older clients often wish the burden of managing their own personal finances to be lifted from them. We can assume responsibility in whole, or in part, for financial and taxation matters or simply provide support and guidance where needed
Who should you appoint?
When appointing a PoA you should consider:
- how well you can trust the person
- how well you know the person
- how well the person looks after their financial affairs
- how happy they will be to do the role
Registering a Power of attorney
We advise that a Power of Attorney should immediately be registered with Office of the Public Guardian, even if it is not intended that it should be used in the foreseeable future. It will not be valid without registration, and the registration process can take several weeks so if the Power of Attorney was needed urgently there would be an unnecessary delay.