Planning for tomorrow – Introduction to Lasting Power of Attorney
By John Moore, Solicitor
We live in a time of better healthcare and advances in science where we are able to enjoy life for longer than previous generations. We never know what is around the corner, however, with many people experiencing challenges with their mental health in their later years or are incapacitated through accident, injury or illness.
Here at CJCH, we regularly meet people of all ages who come to us for advice and who are concerned about safeguarding their personal affairs in the future. Where appropriate, we try and assist by arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney for our clients in respect of their property and financial affairs.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows individuals to appoint someone of their choosing to act on their behalf (as their attorney) if they are no longer able to manage things themselves for whatever reason. An attorney would be able to access a person’s property and finances to help pay bills, manage investments and pay care home fees. An attorney is legally under a duty, however, to act in the person’s best interest at all times.
Sadly, however, many people that we meet have loved ones who have not set up a Lasting Power of Attorney and no longer have the mental capacity, whether by illness or accident, to be able to do so. We often find that family members hit a brick wall when dealing with banks and buildings societies who will of course only deal with the account holder themselves. As there is no one legally able to act for the person it means that there are often situations where bills and care fees cannot be paid. This causes a great deal of stress for everyone involved because a person’s finances cannot be accessed or their property cannot be managed or sold.
In order to resolve this our team of experienced lawyers represent families in making applications to the Court of Protection so that family members can be appointed as Deputies to manage a person’s property and financial affairs. Once the Court has approved an application the family members who have applied will be able to access a person’s finances and manage the sale of a property under a Court Order. The Majority of applications to the Court are straightforward and dealt with on paper and do not require any attendance at Court.
If you would like to speak with us for a free consultation on better preparing for your future to ensure those things that are so important to you can be managed property should you no longer be able to do so yourself, you can contact Mr John Moore (solicitor) in our Private Clients department: