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Power of Attorney

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 To find out how to set up a Power of Attorney, here are some quick links to help you.

There may come a time in your life when you are unable to manage your financial affairs due to illness or incapacity, and you will need someone to act on your behalf.

This is not solely limited to the elderly. People of any age may be inflicted by illness, and in need of someone they trust to take over the running of their money.

Similarly, as we get older, an attorney's need increases as we are more prone to illness and injuries. However, the time when an Attorney is most likely to be required is with advancing age, when mind and body are deteriorating. 

Appointing an Attorney in advance ensures your peace of mind for the time in the future when you need a safe pair of hands to manage your welfare and finance.

In summary, incapacity through aging, illness or immobility can cause the following:

  • It becomes difficult to manage one’s own financial affairs.
  • The prospects of unpaid bills can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety and delay recovery from illness.  
  • Even the young will find it challenging to manage their affairs if they suffer an accident or illness.

Appointing an Attorney in advance, ensures that both your financial affairs and personal welfare are in safe hands if the worst were to happen.

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Power of Attorney - Frequently Asked Questions

A Power of Attorney gives the appointed attorney legal authority to deal with any financial matters for someone who is no longer able to do so.  

In some cases, the Attorney is also given the legal capacity to decide on living arrangements and medical choices. 

At the time of setting up Power of Attorney, you need to still have the mental capacity to make your own decisions. 

You can appoint anybody you choose to act as your Attorney. They do not have to be related to you. 

The main consideration is that you trust that individual to act in your best interest when called upon. You may feel it appropriate to appoint more than one Attorney, so that this power is not abused.

  • A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Affairs
  • A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare
  • A General Power of Attorney

See below for a more detailed explanation of each of the three documents.

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Power of Attorney 

What will happen if I become unable to manage my own financial affairs?  

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What can a Power of Attorney do?

Who should I appoint as my Attorney?

What are the three types of Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs authorises the Attorney(s) to make decisions about all aspects of the person, also known as the Donor's, property and affairs. This could include buying or selling a property in the Donor's name (including the Donor's home), managing their investments, running their business, and making decisions about the Donor's costs of healthcare. 

The Donor may place restrictions upon the Attorney's powers and the extent of their authority within the LPA. However, decisions may still need to be made for you, which may involve going to the Court of Protection, as the decision being made will be in your best interests.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Property & Financial Affairs

A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare covers decisions about a Donor's personal welfare, including where they live, how they are cared for and what healthcare they receive.

Should the Donor require to be moved to residential care the decision to do this, along with the payment for it, are managed jointly by the LPA for Health & Welfare and the LPA for Property and Financial Affairs.  

Attorneys of the Health & Welfare LPA can only exercise this power if the LPA has been officially registered, and if the Donor is deemed unable to make the decision themselves.

If an Advance Directive or Living Will is in place, it can be overridden by a subsequent Health & Welfare LPA, if this expressly extends to decisions relating to lifesaving treatment.

The Health & Welfare LPA form joins both the welfare and medical decisions, and so the Donor may wish to separate them or exclude one power over the other.

An LPA MUST contain a certificate completed by an independent person to confirm that the Donor understands the power and importance.

Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare

The Donor can revoke or cancel the LPA (providing they have the mental capacity to do so). If a spouse or civil partner is the Donor or the appointed Attorney, the Power of Attorney is automatically revoked if the relationship ends. 

An LPA for Property & Affairs is revoked if the Attorney(s) or the Donor are declared bankrupt. However, an LPA for Health & Welfare cannot be terminated as a result of bankruptcy.

Revoking or cancelling the Power of Attorney

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What if I become unable to manage my financial affairs? 

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A GPA allows the Attorney to make decisions, with immediate effect of the appointment being made.  The Attorney may act in any matters relating to the Donor's property and affairs.  The exceptions are making a Will, making gifts or performing in the Donor's role as a Personal Representative, Administrator or Trustee.

It is important to note that the Donor remains liable for the Attorney's actions, and as such, the Attorney must be chosen for their reliability and integrity.

A GPA is effective immediately and will remain in force until it is either cancelled by the Donor or in the event that the Donor becomes mentally incapable. At this point the General Power is automatically revoked. The General Power of Attorney will also be revoked in the event of either bankruptcy or the death of either the Donor or the Attorney.

By contrast to the terms of an LPA, with a GPA there is restriction on the Attorney's powers.

A GPA can be revoked at any time by either writing 'cancelled' across the document or simply by tearing it up.

General Power of Attorney (GPA)

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What if I become unable to manage my affairs?

What can a Power of Attorney do?

Who should I appoint as my Attorney?

LPA for Property & Affairs 

LPA for Health & Welfare

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General Power of Attorney

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