Business expert Katherine Rowell from D&K Wills talks to us about how lasting powers of attorney can be hard to get your head around within England and Wales, but can help to give peace of mind for the future.
Unlike a will, a lasting power of attorney is used during life and normally used to help manage someones finances or healthcare choices when they have lost the capacity to do so themselves.
A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to make decisions as if they were you, providing you still have mental capacity to be able to carry out your instructions. There are two different types:
Firstly, health and welfare. This can only be used when you have lost mental capacity and allows someone else to make decisions about your healthcare, for example, that you would prefer to have care in your own home rather than residential care elsewhere.
Or that in certain situations you would not want life-sustaining treatment.
Secondly – finance and property. This allows someone to deal with your finances such as pensions, investments, savings or sale of the house. You can nominate someone to do this while you have capacity (especially useful for those with businesses) or on incapacity only.
Contrary to popular belief spouses and next of kin do not automatically have these rights and without a Llasting power of attorney someone is appointed on your behalf by the Office of the Public Guardian which is exceptionally costly and time consuming.
Please get in touch if this is something you feel would benefit you and your family or if you have any questions on how they work.