What is a power of attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a written document giving someone else authority to take actions or make decisions on your behalf if you were to need help or lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. This could be to deal with your financial affairs, including your property, and your personal welfare, including personal care and medical decisions.
Your capacity could be impaired gradually or suddenly as a result of an accident or illness. By putting a Power of Attorney in place in advance of such a situation where you are unable to make decisions for yourself, you can be assured your affairs and welfare will be looked after by someone you trust.
What would happen if I don’t have a Power of Attorney?
No one has an automatic right to take actions on your behalf without legal authority. If you are unable to make decisions about your affairs, your family or friends may have to go to court to get the authority to act on your behalf.
This process may take a long time, cost a lot and above all it can be a very stressful and emotional experience for everyone involved.
Is a Power of Attorney not for older people?
No, nobody likes to think that they may not be able to look after themself but accidents or illness can happen to anyone.
Who can be an Attorney?
You can appoint anyone you want, over the age of 16. This could be a family member or a friend, a solicitor or accountant, or a combination. It’s usually a good idea to have more than one attorney or maybe what is called a substitute attorney to step in if your attorney can no longer do things for you.
Let us help you
An initial consultation with one of our legal experts will help you understand more about establishing a Power of Attorney. The initial consultation can be by telephone or an individual meeting at our office or at your home, please let us know what you would prefer.
Like your Will, Powers of Attorney should be reviewed on a regular basis, to take account of any changes in your health or personal circumstances (for instance, your children have grown up, you have remarried or have a new partner).