For many, many years an individual has had the right to appoint an Attorney, giving someone else the right to exercise powers and sign documents on his or her behalf.
However, the traditional Power of Attorney ceased to be effective when the maker became unable to manage their own affairs – the time when it was likely to become most necessary. In order to fill this gap in the law Parliament has enacted legislation that enables individuals to make Lasting Powers of Attorney, specifically designed to remain in force even though the maker (“the Donor”) can no longer make decisions for themselves. A Brochure “Lasting Powers of Attorney – How They Can Help” can be found here
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, one that deals with Property and Financial Affairs and one for Health and Welfare. While the Property and Financial Affairs Power can take effect as soon as it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian decisions relating to Health and Welfare can only be made by an Attorney once the Donor has lost the capacity to act for themself.
In order to safeguard the makers of such documents and there are specific requirements for the form and signing of appropriate Powers, notice of intended registration may need to be given to others and a Certificate of Capacity provided when the Power is signed. The Powers that you may wish to bestow upon your Attorney can be limited, or subject to conditions that need to be included in the original document. With a wealth of experience in this field our Team can advise you upon the making of Lasting Powers of Attorney, helping you decide who to appoint as your Attorney and whether you should impose limitations or conditions on their powers. We will also deal with the formalities of providing a Certificate of Capacity, giving the necessary notices and registration, so that you can be certain that your Power of Attorney is effective and can be used at a time of your choosing, or when it becomes necessary.
We can also help those who have been granted Power of Attorney over the affairs of others to make sure that they exercise those powers in accordance with the Law and in the best interests of the makers of the Power.