No one can predict where life will take us and, as our lives progress, some of us will inevitably lose the ability to make our own decisions as a result of old age, illness, or brain injury.
At Lewis Denley, we help clients prepare for every possibility. Although every person has a right to make decisions about their own finances, health, and day-to-day life, there may come a time when we struggle to do so.
We can help you make a Power of Attorney, a legal document to appoint 1 or more relatives or close friends to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf if needed in the future.
Our Power of Attorney Solicitors’ expertise
We can provide clear, understandable advice about all types of Power of Attorney, including:
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Property and Financial Affairs Powers of Attorney
- Health and Welfare Powers of Attorney
- Enduring Powers of Attorney
- Ordinary Powers of Attorney
Whatever your motivation for creating a Power of Attorney, we will handle your case professionally and sensitively. So, whether you’re approaching old age, you’ve been diagnosed with an illness which could affect your mental capacity in the future, or you need someone to temporarily look after your affairs while you go abroad or have an operation, our approachable solicitors are on hand to help.
Why make a Power of Attorney?
If you lose your mental capacity without having a Power of Attorney in place, your family will not necessarily be able to automatically step in to help you. Instead, they would need to apply to the Court of Protection for authorisation to make decisions on your behalf.
By Making a Power of Attorney, you will likely save your loved ones considerable stress later on, particularly if you lose your mental capacity very suddenly (for example, after an accident). It will also give you control over who is allowed to care of matters for you in the future.
Types of Power of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document used to appoint 1 or more people (called “Attorneys”) to help you make decisions or make decisions for you in the event you lose your mental capacity in the future.
There are 2 types of LPA:
- Property and Financial Affairs Attorney – authorises someone to do things like pay the bills, collect your pension, and manage your household expenses
- Health and Welfare Attorney – authorises someone to make decisions about your care, medical treatment, and day-to-day activities
Our comprehensive service includes providing advice on the different kinds of LPA, drafting the document, and registering it with the Office of the Public Guardian.
We also provide advice to Attorneys on their responsibilities, how to help the Donor (the person who created the LPA) make decisions and assessing when it’s necessary to make decisions on their behalf.
Enduring Powers of Attorney
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney in 2007. However, EPAs made before 1 October 2007 can still be used.
EPAs authorise someone to make decisions about your financial affairs, including the management of bills and bank accounts, your property, and your pensions and benefits.
An EPA can only be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian once you start to lose your mental capacity. We provide advice to Donors and Attorneys appointed under EPAs in relation to the document’s validity, registration, and the Attorney’s duties and responsibilities.
Ordinary Powers of Attorney
Ordinary Powers of Attorney (OPAs) (also known as General Powers of Attorney) are used to authorise someone to manage your affairs while you still have mental capacity. If you lose your mental capacity, your OPA can no longer be used.
You may want to make an OPA in circumstances where you will find it difficult or impossible to manage your own financial affairs, for example if:
- You have a physical disability or illness
- You are going abroad for a long time
- You are going into hospital for a while
- You have received a custodial sentence
Attorneys under OPAs can only make decisions within the strict limits of the document. For example, an OPA may allow someone to pay bills but not to sell their property.
We can draft you a watertight document which clearly sets out what your Attorneys are authorised to do and what they can’t do. We also advise Attorneys in relation to their responsibilities.
Other ways we can help you plan for the future
As well as Powers of Attorney, we provide extensive advice to clients looking to secure the safety of their future and provide for their loved ones. Please also ask us for advice about:
- Wills – the only way to ensure your final wishes will be followed after you die is to make a Will
- Trusts – increase your control over how your family benefit from your estate as you grow older and after you die by setting up trusts
- Inheritance Tax advice – leave your loved ones as much inheritance as possible by taking steps to minimise the amount of tax due on your estate after you die
- Advance Decisions (Living Wills) – set out your wishes to refuse medical treatment (including lifesaving treatment) in case you lose your mental capacity and cannot communicate your wishes in the future when needed
Why choose Lewis Denley’s Power of Attorney solicitors?
At Lewis Denley, we combine extensive legal knowledge with a flair for connecting personally with our clients. We invest heavily in our team’s development, so you can be sure that your Power of Attorney lawyer is passionate, motivated and an expert in their area of law.
When it comes to Powers of Attorney, one size doesn’t fit all; We’ll discuss your needs and concerns with you in detail and carefully draft your Power of Attorney from scratch to fully reflect your individual circumstances.
We’ve built our success on accessibility and we’re happy to offer flexible fee payment options to all of our new clients. We will discuss our fees with you at the beginning of your case so you always remain in control of your overall spend.