MAKING A POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Power of Attorney (formerly known as Enduring Power of Attorney) is a legal document allowing you to appoint trusted people to make decisions on your behalf. This may be due to ill health or you may be away from home for extended periods.
Your trusted people may then be required to make decisions to requiring a Health and Welfare or Property and Finance Power of Attorney.
PEACE OF MIND
If you don’t have a Power of Attorney in place and you lose the ability to manage your affairs, for example through accident or illness, then your family would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. This is very costly, time-consuming and emotionally difficult; and comes at a time when your loved one may be struggling to cope.
Power of Attorney can also be used for temporary financial decisions, where someone may be absent abroad for long periods or where a person may have disabilities which makes getting to the bank or paying bills difficult.
You may think that you don’t need a Property and Financial Affairs Power of Attorney if you don’t own your own home or have lots of money, however, this is incorrect. A Power of Attorney is needed in any financial situation from state benefits, pensions, bills and bank accounts, as well as property, regardless of whether it is owned or rented.
A Power of Attorney means that you can explain any preferences you have for your care and welfare to your trusted people in case you are unable to make those decisions when required.
What is the difference between a Property and Financial and Health and Welfare Power of Attorney?
Property and Financial
Choose one or more people to make decisions about matters relating to:
Paying household bills or transferring money in and out of bank accounts.
Collecting benefits or salaries owed to you.
Selling or transferring your home.
Managing the upkeep of your property.
This type of Power of Attorney can be used for short periods of time or on a more permanent basis.
Health and Welfare
Choose one or more people, to make decisions about matters relating to:
Your daily routine (e.g. eating, taking medication).
Your medical care.
Moving into a care home.
Decisions about life-sustaining treatment.
This type of Power of Attorney can only be used when you have lost the ability to make your own decisions.