Why a Lasting Power of Attorney is like your best friend

Why a Lasting Power of Attorney is like your best friend

Did you know that you can’t create (or make changes to) a Power of Attorney after you’ve become mentally ill? One in three over-65s develop dementia. Yet don’t assume relatives can just walk into a bank and access your money, even to pay for your care. Unless you already have a Power of Attorney, loved ones need to apply for one through court, which can be long and costly. This article tells you more about what a Power of Attorney is (and why you should sort it in advance).

‘Power of Attorney’ is the legal authority which allows an individual the right to act on another’s behalf. It can almost be claimed that this is the ultimate form of delegation. It can be manifested in a variety of ways and is very important in law and anyone granted Power of Attorney is termed ‘the attorney’. In order to be such, the individual or individuals must be over 18 years of age.

There are two main ways in which the Power of Attorney is usually manifested. These are the permission to organise another person’s financial affairs, and the responsibility to make decisions on another individual’s health and welfare when they do not have the capacity to do so anymore. The Lasting Power of Attorney is the legal document which facilitates this.

What happens is that this grants the authority to act on another’s behalf and typically, this right is granted to someone you trust. Being proactive and putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place means that you are taking control of potential future situations where you may not have control at that time. It enables you to make the decision as to how much power any individual granted this right may exercise. Additionally, you are able to impose any safeguards and regulations you wish. There is a lot more information available on the technical aspects of the Power of Attorney at Saga’s website.

The necessity of a Lasting Power of Attorney is becoming more and more evident with each passing year. We, as people, are living longer and longer as a result of the growing power of preventative medicine, as well as palliative care. This means that, unfortunately, we are more at risk of needing someone to act on our behalf when we reach old age. However, the need for a Power of Attorney could happen at any point in our lives which is important to remember.

It is obviously a huge responsibility to be granted Power of Attorney, and it should not be taken lightly. Ultimately however, the role means that what may have been impossible to conduct is possible, because you have delegated the power to act on your behalf to another trusted individual.

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