Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a document that you sign while you are able. This appoints someone “an attorney” to make decisions for you in the future should the need arise.
- A general power lasts for 12 months and is specific to a need. For example to sell a property for someone. This could be if they are overseas, to operate a bank account and so on.
- An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) was the power used pre-October 2007. This is when the introduction of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 on 1st October 2007. The EPA was purely in respect of finances. It could only be used where the person making the power (“the donor”) had lost testamentary capacity. Therefore could no longer make decisions for himself / herself.
- A Property & Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) introduced since the 1st October 2007 allows an attorney to have all authority over the donor’s property and affairs, such as dealing with financial institutions, utility companies, entering into certain contracts and selling land. This power can be used by the attorney while the donor is still mentally capable.
It does not give the attorney authority to make a Will for the donor or litigate. An attorney does not have authority to make gifts unless on customary occasions. We are happy to advise attorneys on what they can and cannot do as far as gifts are concerned.
- A Health & Welfare LPA gives the attorney authority concerning the donor’s personal welfare, such as medical treatment, social care, and medication or where the donor lives. This LPA can only be used when the donor cannot make these decisions for himself / herself.
The donor must choose to whether to give/not give their attorney the authority to give/not give consent to life sustaining treatment. The attorney does not have the authority to authorise euthanasia.
If you have a query or would like to book an appointment please get in touch with our team on 01256 320555 or email email@example.com.
Wills and Estate Planning Director
Wills and Estate Planning Solicitor