Looking for expert advice about a Power of Attorney?
Many people think that a power of attorney is something that is only needed if they have lost mental capacity and do not see the need to have one in place as “they have not lost it yet”.
They do not seem to realise that if they do lose capacity then it is too late to set up a power of attorney. A power of attorney has to be set up when you have capacity and understanding and can then be used once mental capacity has been lost.
However not only can a power of attorney be used then it can also prove invaluable if you decide that although you still have capacity that it would be better for a family member to look after your affairs. A power of attorney can also be used if you have to be in hospital for a long stay or cannot perform day to day tasks. Although you have to have capacity to set up a power of attorney it can be set up in such a way that it cannot be used until you have lost capacity or you say it can be used.
We believe at Ready 4 Retirement that a power of attorney is one of the essentials along with a funeral plan and Will and that is why all Ready 4 Retirement plans include funeral cover and a Will and a power of attorney.
- Not having a power of attorney can prove to be costly and involve solicitors and courts and be time consuming and stressful for the family.
- Putting a Power of Attorney in place allows you to name a person or persons that you trust to have your best interests at heart.
- You can name between one and four attorneys. Whilst it is not always possible it is good practice to name more than one attorney.
If a single attorney is named and is unable or unwilling to act as your attorney when required then a new application to name any further attorneys would have to be submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian along with a new registration fee.
How do you wish your attorneys to act?
If it is possible to name more than one attorney, acting “jointly and severally” then should any of the attorneys be unwilling or unable to act this does not prevent your other named attorneys from doing so. There are 2 options to this question, “jointly” and “jointly and severally”.
“Jointly” means exactly that. Your attorneys would have to make any decisions and attend the bank etc. together. They are unable to act on their own at all. Again, should any of your attorneys be unable or unwilling to act a new application would have to be submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian with a new registration fee.
“Jointly and severally” means that your attorneys can work independently of each other allowing them greater freedom. This also means that should any of your attorneys be unable or unwilling to act your remaining attorneys are not affected and can still act on your behalf.