Growing old does not come without its difficulties, especially in today's modern technologically focused society. If you have concerns about managing your future, or would like to help an elderly friend or relative, we would be happy to assist and can offer friendly advice on both Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection applications.
A power of Attorney will allow you to choose someone to look after your affairs should you become incapable of doing so yourself. Under current legislation there are two kinds of Power of Attorney available to help you to plan for your future:
- Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Affairs - In appointing an Attorney for Property & Affairs you are effectively electing someone who can manage your finance together with any other assets you have. This could include the collecting of pension, setting up direct debits right through to completing a house sale on your behalf. The amount of control to be passed to your Attorney is entirely up to you.
- Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare - A Health & Welfare attorney can be appointed to make medical & lifestyle decisions on your behalf when you no longer have the ability to do so yourself. In this case the Attorney can give or refuse consent to particular types of health care and medical treatment. They would also be able to decide whether you continue to live in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services, or whether residential care would be more appropriate for you. By appointing a Health & Welfare Attorney you MUST make sure this is someone you trust to make decisions as you would have had you been able to do so.
If a friend or relative needs assistance but no longer has the mental capacity to choose to appoint an attorney the only recourse available is to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as that persons Deputy.
Becoming a Deputy brings with it much of the same duties and abilities outlined above in respect to Powers of Attorney however as the person in question has not specifically chosen the Deputy the Deputy must be closely monitored and assessed to ensure that the right person is appointed. The application process is therefore more lengthy and expensive and even once in place the Deputy must continually report to the Court, on an annual basis, with regards to the decisions that they have made on behalf of the person in question.
Due to the costs and timeframe differences in creating a Power of Attorney as opposed to a Court of Protection application, Ratcliffe & Bibby would always recommend creating a Power of Attorney whilst you have the ability to do so to ensure that your own wishes are set out for the future. We do however understand that this is not always an approachable topic for clients and their families and as such we are able to provide sound advice on all matters relating to the Court of Protection and Powers of Attorney as and when required.
If you would like more information on the above issues please contact one of our team who would be happy to discuss the same with you and provide a fixed fee quote for any work required. Alternatively, you can complete a simple form and one of our team of solicitors will contact you to discuss your requirements further.