An introduction to and explanation of Powers of Attorney and Guardianship.
Power of Attorney
Having a Power of Attorney lets you plan what you want another person to do for you in the future, should you become incapable of making decisions about your own affairs or because it is simply more convenient for you to have someone else deal with your finances. They are not only for older people; anyone can have an accident or illness and not be able to look after him or herself. This is particularly important for people with their own businesses. Granting a Power of Attorney does not mean you are no longer able to carry on looking after your own affairs. It simply means you are sharing your legal authority with someone else. However, if you do loose capacity in the future then a Power of Attorney means there is someone of your choosing in place to take care of your finances and welfare.
The earlier you take advice the better. Having a Power of Attorney is a bit like having house insurance. You hope it is never needed but it is there in case you ever do. This can be a difficult and emotional issue for some people and we are experienced in dealing with clients in a sensitive and appropriate manner. We can help by advising on what you need to consider and having the documentation prepared and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
When someone loses the ability to look after their own affairs they can no longer make a Power of Attorney. In that case a Guardianship Order may be appropriate. This is a court appointment which authorises a person to act and make decisions on behalf of an adult who no longer is able to do this for themselves.
We can help by advising what is appropriate and preparing and dealing with the application. We can also provide advice on an ongoing basis to guardians.