Powers of Attorney and Advising the Elderly

Powers of Attorney

Whilst the making of a will allows you to document your wishes following your death, it may be that you want to appoint a relative or close friend to assist you with your affairs during your lifetime, particularly if you were to become unable to do so because of physical or mental incapacity.

Until recently, you could do this by a simple document known as an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). However, these have been replaced by a more complex document, the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). There are two types of LPA, one of which allows you to give powers to your attorney in relation to your property and financial affairs, and the other which can give powers and directions regarding your personal welfare.

Our private client team will be happy to advise you in relation to the making of an LPA and guide you through the document itself. Once the document has been signed, witnessed and certificated, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.

If you have an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) that you made before they were phased out, it will normally remain valid. We can advise you or your attorney on the circumstances in which the document should be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, and we can also arrange the registration on your behalf should this be needed.

We offer fixed fees for the preparation of LPAs. If you require advice in connection with an existing EPA (or its possible registration), we will assess your requirements before giving you an indication of our fees, which will be charged on a time basis.

Michael Armstrong and Alison Johnson are members of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), an experienced grouping of practitioners who specialise in legal matters that affect those who are perhaps beyond the first flush of youth. As well as dealing frequently with issues arising from Powers of Attorney, Will-making and Estate Planning matters, SFE are heavily involved in advising in relation to people who suffer some degree of mental incapacity, including applications to and dealing with the Court of Protection.

For more information on Powers of Attorney, please contact David Shackleton, Claire Green (Ripon), Alison Johnson (Bedale) or Marie Nelson (Thirsk).

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