What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
The importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney has been regularly highlighted in the media since their introduction by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They replaced the previous Enduring Powers of Attorney and were designed to give more protection to the person giving the power to an Attorney.
A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to choose who will deal with your financial affairs if you are no longer capable of acting on your own behalf. Your attorney has a legal duty to always act in your best interests and can only do so once the document has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
As well as your financial matters, a separate Lasting Power of Attorney can be made allowing you to appoint people to deal with health and welfare decisions if you become incapable to do so at a later date.
At first glance, Lasting Powers of Attorney documents may look fairly simple to complete, but this area of the law can be complex so expert advice should always be sought to ensure the documents are appropriate in each case.
If a document is rejected by the Office of the Public Guardian on application for registration there is no ability to amend the document and therefore a new Lasting Power of Attorney must be completed, signed and in most circumstances a second registration fee will be payable.
Enduring Powers of Attorney
Although it is no longer possible to make new Enduring Powers of Attorney it is necessary to register an Enduring Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian if the person giving the power has become or is becoming mentally incapable of managing their affairs. We can offer advice and assist you with the registration process in addition to advising you of your duties as attorney.