A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives authority to the Attorney to make specific decisions on behalf of another person. The Lasting Powers of Attorney replaced the Enduring Powers of Attorney in 2007 and is a more versatile document.
It is crucial that when you choose an attorney that they are trustworthy and have the necessary skills to make beneficial and appropriate decisions on your behalf. If you choose to have more than one attorney you can instruct them to work together or independently depending on the circumstances.
Your appointed attorney can only begin to act once you have both signed a document that has been independently witnessed by a ‘certificate provider’ so that you understand the nature and scope of the document and to ensure you haven’t been forced to sign the document. It also needs to be registered with the Office of Public Guardian.
It is important to make a Lasting Power of Attorney in the event that you may need one. These are not restricted to the elderly and infirm as there is no indication as to what may happen in the future or when you may need a Lasting Power of Attorney. Without one it may be necessary to apply the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy if you lose capacity for any reason such as; an accident, sudden illness, a stroke or an unforeseen event that could cause you to lose capacity to be able to make decisions for yourself. This process is one that will be expensive and time consuming, which may lead to family disputes and the outcome may not reflect your wishes or desires.