Have you considered how your financial affairs or your personal welfare would be looked after if you are not well enough to do it for yourself?


Have you ever heard of a Lasting Power of Attorney?  This is a legal document by which you, as the donor will formerly appoint another person, the attorney, to act on your behalf to look after your affairs if you are mentally or physically unable to manage them for yourself.


Lasting Powers of Attorney come in two forms, one for Property and Financial Affairs and one for Personal Health and Welfare.


The Property and Financial Affairs document will allow your attorney to buy or sell any property on your behalf and deal with your bank accounts, shares, investments and pensions and any other financial investments that you may have.   This document may be used whilst you have mental capacity to give your instructions, but can also be used in the event that you lose mental capacity.


The Personal Health and Welfare document will allow your attorney to make decisions about your well-being, but only in circumstances where you do not have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.


The documents last for the duration of your life and upon your death, the documents die with you, at which stage your Will (if you have prepared one) appointing your executors will come into effect.


If you decide not to prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney and do not have a valid document in place at a stage in your life when you require one, then your family will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. A Deputyship Order is a formal document which is authorised by the Court of Protection to appoint someone on your behalf to administer your affairs.

For more information regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney or Deputyship Orders please contact Sue Squires, Associate Solicitor in the Lamb Brooks Private Client Team on 01256 844888 or email sue.squires@lambbrooks.com.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.