An ordinary Power of Attorney allows someone to legally manage your affairs if you become unable to do so, for instance due to illness or disability.
To do this, you have to willingly appoint someone that you trust as your attorney. This could be a family member, close friend or solicitor. If you change you mind, this can be cancelled at any time. However, an ordinary Power of Attorney will cease to have effect if you are mentally incapable of managing your affairs yourself.
Lasting Powers of Attorney ('LPA's') are still valid if you become mentally incapable of managing your affairs - they 'last'. You can make two kinds of LPA - to appoint attorneys to look after your financial and welfare decisions separately. This is a very important document – you need to consider your choice of attorney carefully and appoint someone that you trust, as they may be managing your affairs while you are unable to check on their actions.
Dale and Co. Solicitors in Lincoln produce a free Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney. Contact us to request a copy.
If an LPA has not been made and you become mentally incapable of making a formal decision at a certain time, the matter will be referred to the Court of Protection. The Court may then make the decision, or choose someone else (a 'deputy') to make the particular decision.
If the position of deputy is ongoing, that person will usually have to keep accounts, enter into a security bond, and report back to the Office of the Public Guardian. The Court of Protection and Office of the Public Guardian charge for these services.
Enduring powers of attorney were replaced by Lasting powers of attorney on October 1, 2007. You cannot now make new EPA's, yet any EPA's made before this date are still valid.
An EPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian if the person it relates to becomes mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs.