In the current climate, it is no surprise many of us want to put our affairs in order. As Hannah Montague explains, a Lasting Power of Attorney can provide peace of mind when faced with the continuing threat of coronavirus…
Are you and your loved ones prepared for ever-tightening government restrictions or even a second lockdown? If our freedoms are limited again for the sake of our collective health, giving someone the power to act on your behalf could literally be a lifesaver.
What is a Power of Attorney?
Making a Power of Attorney is a way to give someone you trust the authority to take decisions about your health and wellbeing or finances.
In such uncertain times, a General Power of Attorney can be useful if you need to grant temporary authority to loved ones. However, it ceases to be valid if you become mentally incapable of managing your own affairs.
What happens if I lose mental capacity and have not appointed an attorney?
In these circumstances, a deputy would have to be approved by the Court of Protection to take care of your affairs.
Applications can be made by friends, relatives or a professional, such as solicitor, but are costly and take a considerable amount of time to process. It is, therefore, very important to make a Lasting Power of Attorney if you wish to stipulate who will act on your behalf if you are ever rendered incapable, due to illness or loss of mental capacity.
I have an Enduring Power of Attorney – is it still valid?
Yes. An Enduring Power of Attorney allows a nominated individual to deal with your property and financial affairs, but does not give them any authority over your welfare.
The documents are perfectly valid, provided they were put in place before September 2007 and would only need to be registered with the court if you became incapable of managing your affairs.
My financial adviser has asked if my Power of Attorney has discretionary management provision. What does this mean?
If you have a discretionary investment management agreement and would like your loved ones to continue it, if you lose mental capacity, you should ensure your Lasting Power of Attorney contains the appropriate wording.
Your attorneys need express consent from you or the Court of Protection to delegate investment decisions to a third-party discretionary investment manager. If your Lasting Power or Attorney does not specifically address this issue, your loved ones would need to seek additional powers from the court if you lose mental capacity. This would involve extra fees and the application could cause considerable delays.
To find out more about making or reviewing a will, why not book a free 30-minute consultation with one of our probate specialists? Telephone (0114) 218 4000, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this form.