What Is A Lasting Power Of Attorney?

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Lasting Power Of Attorney.’ Sounds daunting doesn’t it. However, it is just a complex phrase for a simple legal right. If an individual is going to become incapable of making their own decisions any more they have a right to nominate a person (or people) to make their decisions for them. These could be decisions organisation of their estate, finances, welfare or care and housing.

Who can be granted a Lasting Power Of Attorney?

Whoever the individual in question nominates and trusts can be granted a Lasting Power Of Attorney (POA) as long as they are happy to take on the responsibility. There are two types of POA a health and welfare POA or a property and financial affairs POA. There are different application forms for both. A Lasting Power Of Attorney can also be cancelled should your circumstances change.

Why would you require a Lasting Power Of Attorney?

A person could require a power of attorney of a couple of reasons. Firstly, they may purely not wish to have the stress of making such decisions anymore or it may be a precautionary measure should they ever be in a position that they could not make their own decisions. Secondly, they may be mentally incapable of doing so.

How do you apply for a Lasting Power Of Attorney?

power of attorneyIn the UK application forms for Lasting Power Of Attorney can be obtained on the government’s website. A POA is intended to be applied for prior to mental decline to put in place measures that the individual is happy with in advance of no longer being in a sound state of mind to specify their desires. The individual requiring the decisions to be made on their behalf may fill out a form applying for a lasting power of attorney, or they may let someone do this on their behalf then consent to the criteria outlined in the agreement. This often occurs in cases of degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and senile dementia. The POA will then come into play once the individual no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions alone. However, the POA can be used in advance of this mental incapacity should the individual provide consent to its use. One may also apply for POA for alternative reasons, such as simply feeling too old to be capable of making stressful decisions any more, or a precautionary measure, amongst other reasons. Anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a POA.

Importantly there is a preventive measure in place to make sure that no one can be forced into signing a Lasting Power of Attorney against their will. This presents itself in the format of a ‘certificate provider.’ The certificate provider is an independent third party who talks privately with the donor to ascertain whether they fully understand the rights they are giving their attorney (s). They will also sign part B of the Lasting Power of Attorney forms to validate them. A POA cannot be used immediately. If there are no problems with your application for a POA it should take up 9 weeks to be registered and validated. The POA must be registered with The Office of Public Guardian before use.

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