Lasting Powers of Attorney

Will WritingLasting Powers of Attorney are legal documents by which you give someone of your choice the authority to make decisions on your behalf. These people are known as your ‘Attorneys’. Once made, these powers cannot actually be used by your Attorneys until the documents have officially been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. There are two types of Powers which can be made; Property & Financial and Health & Welfare.

Property & Financial

Granting this type of authority to your ‘attorney’, enables them to deal with the following types of matters on your behalf:

  • Buying or selling property
  • Paying household bills and other expenses
  • Opening, closing and operating bank, building society and other accounts
  • Claiming and receiving benefits, pensions and allowances

Once this power has been registered, your Attorney is able to deal with these matters on your behalf immediately. You do not need to have lost mental capacity for them to act. As such these powers can be useful to assist people with physical disabilities or simply to let someone take over managing your financial affairs.

Health & Welfare

Granting this type of authority to your ‘attorney’ enables them to deal with the following general types of matters on your behalf:

  • Giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions
  • You staying in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services
  • You moving into residential housing and choosing the right care home for you
  • Day-to-day issues, like your diet, dress, or daily routine.

Unlike the Property & Financial Affairs Power (detailed above), this power cannot be used by your Attorney simply because it has been registered. It can only be used after you have lost the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.

Your attorneys cannot make decisions about life-sustaining treatment on your behalf unless you specifically grant them this authority. If you do not wish your attorney to have decision making ability at this level, then Doctors will make the decision on your behalf.