Powers of Attorney - safeguarding yourself and your assets if you lose capacity

The prospect of losing physical or mental capacity (the ability to independently manage your own affairs) is often an unspeakable subject and one put aside. Unfortunately, however, once capacity is lost – even partially – it may be too late to make suitable alternative arrangements.  

Without a Power of Attorney in place, a relative or friend faced with acting on your behalf would need to apply for ‘deputyship’ to the Court of Protection. It’s a process which takes around of 26 weeks, involves complex administration and which can cost several thousands of pounds. Conversely, a Power of Attorney is a very efficient, inexpensive document. 

Many people have heard of Powers of Attorney but are not sure exactly what they mean. There are three main types: 

  1. General Power of Attorney.
  2. Lasting Power of Attorney (which replaced Enduring Power of Attorney in October 2007).
  3. Advance Decision (also called a ‘Living Will’).

The documents are very different but, essentially, each allows you to appoint who you choose to help manage your affairs should you begin to lose physical or mental capacity, rather than someone appointed by the courts.  

An Advance Decision is a vital instrument forpeople who have strong feelings about not being resuscitated or kept alive should they have a serious illness or accident. By stating in writing the exact circumstances in which life-sustaining treatment should or should not be withdrawn, you ensure your wishes will be followed and, if appropriate, you can die with dignity. 

Contact Hutchinson Legal & Associates on 01454 300600 to discuss your concerns in confidence and appoint today who you would liketo help you should you lose capacity tomorrow.