Looking for a solicitor to help you make your Lasting Power of Attorney in Beaconsfield? Perhaps you are starting to worry about old age, or have recently experienced a parent suffering from dementia, and acted as their attorney yourself. Lasting Powers of Attorney are lengthy and complex documents giving your attorneys important powers. It is essential that you have a good legal adviser by your side, to make the process of setting them up go as smoothly as possible. Chiltern Wills will work with you to ensure that your Lasting Powers of Attorney reflect your wishes accurately.
Chiltern Wills is a friendly, professional Will writing business run by former London solicitor Rebecca D’Arcy. We are based just outside Beaconsfield in Jordans Village, and we specialise in preparing Lasting Power of Attorney in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire HP9.
We can accommodate social distancing during the Coronavirus outbreak by taking your instructions remotely. We will either hold virtual meetings with you over Skype or FaceTime, or alternatively we can take your instructions over the telephone, if that is easier.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a document in which you appoint one or more trusted people to act on your behalf if you ever lost capacity to manage your own affairs. Your attorneys could then run everything for you, much as you do yourself. People often appoint their spouse, adult children and/or a close friend, in this capacity.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney; (1) a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs (sometimes known as a ‘financial power of attorney’) and (2) a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare (or ‘medical power of attorney’). You can either appoint the same person or people in both roles, or you could appoint different people, depending on your preference.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs
In your Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, you appoint an attorney or attorneys who will be in charge of running your financial affairs, if you ever became unable to do so yourself. The attorney(s) will have very wide, flexible powers which allow them, for example, to pay bills, to run your bank accounts and even to sell your house. You can choose whether your Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs comes into effect immediately (with your consent), or whether it would only take effect if you lost capacity.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare
Your attorneys under your Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare would be in charge of making more personal decisions about, for example, your medical treatment or deciding where you are to live. You also have the option of including guidance about a wide range of matters relating to your health and personal care. A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare only comes into effect once the donor has lost capacity to make this type of decision for themselves. In the deed, importantly, you will have the option of authorising your attorneys to give or refuse consent to life-sustaining treatment on your behalf.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Prior to the introduction of the Lasting Power of Attorney regime in 2007, there were deeds called ‘Enduring Powers of Attorney’ instead. If you have one of these which was correctly executed in the past, it will still be valid in relation to decisions about your property and financial affairs in future. However, it does not authorise your attorneys to make decisions about your health and welfare. You may like to consider putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare as well, in order to allow your attorneys to make that type of decision for you.
Registering your Lasting Powers of Attorney
When your Lasting Powers of Attorney have been signed, they need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, which is the public body that oversees how attorneys use their powers. The Office of the Public Guardian charges £82 per deed to register Lasting Powers of Attorney, and the registration process usually takes 2-3 months from start to finish.
Ending a Lasting Power of Attorney
If you wish, and for as long as you have mental capacity to do so, you can revoke your Lasting Power of Attorney by preparing a Deed of Revocation and sending it to the Office of the Public Guardian.
Your Lasting Power of Attorney could also come to an end if your attorney goes bankrupt, divorces you, is removed by the Court of Protection, loses mental capacity themselves or dies, unless you appointed a replacement attorney who would be able to take over.
What if my attorney does something wrong?
Your attorneys are under a strict duty to act in your best interests at all times. The vast majority of attorneys use their powers responsibly and correctly, but inevitably , there are occasional instances of attorneys misusing their powers. If you believe that you may have noticed an attorney doing something wrong, you should report your concerns to the Office of the Public Guardian. They will fact find, and then launch an investigation if they believe it is merited. Depending on the outcome of their investigation, if money has been misappropriated the matter will end up as a criminal investigation in the hands of the police. If an attorney has misused their powers in relation to someone’s health and welfare, it will be a matter for social services.
How much does it cost to make a Lasting Power of Attorney in Beaconsfield?
Our low overheads allow us to charge substantially less than typical local solicitors in Beaconsfield according to our market research. You will have the comfort of knowing that your documents have been prepared by non-practising solicitor Rebecca D’Arcy. Please get in touch to request a no-obligation fee quote.
The Office of the Public Guardian charges £82 per deed for registration.