Are you considering setting up a lasting power of attorney for Property and Financial Affairs? Perhaps you are sensibly thinking ahead to your old age, or have recently had a health scare, and want to make sure you have everything organised just in case. In a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, you appoint a trusted person or persons as your attorneys to make decisions about your finances and your property, exactly as the name suggests. Your attorneys would be able to run your finances for you, if you were ever unable to do so yourself.
What sort of decisions can attorneys make under a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs?
Financial decisions might be about for example opening, closing and using bank accounts, claiming your benefits, pensions and allowances, paying your household, care and other bills, making or selling investments or even buying or selling a home for you. Your attorneys will have very broad powers to do pretty much anything you could do yourself on your behalf in relation to your property and finances.
Whom should I appoint as my attorneys?
It is crucial to appoint someone whom you trust implicitly to act in this important role. Typically, clients will appoint family members or close friends in this capacity, although it is also possible to appoint professional attorneys if you do not have anybody suitable in mind. Ideally, you would choose someone well-organised who is good with their paperwork.
When will my Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs come into effect?
You can choose whether your Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs will come into effect straight away whilst you still have capacity, which gives your attorneys the option to help you with everyday tasks if this should be required, or whether it should only be used once you have lost mental capacity. Most people will choose the former option, as it can be very useful to have in place a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs long before the donor loses capacity. For example, to help an elderly person who might be struggling physically to get out to the bank or post office to run their finances, but is perfectly capable of making financial decisions for themselves.