Power of Attorney

Power of attorney

Romain Coleman understands that when power of attorney has to be dealt with, it is at a difficult time in the lives of you and the loved one affected. Our solicitors have had years of experience with people who have to deal with power of attorney for unforeseen circumstances such as an elderly family member becoming very ill.

What to know about Power of Attorney

Power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you or act on your behalf when you are legally deemed incapable of doing so. Reasons for this would be mental health issues such as dementia, having a severe learning disability, brain injury, etc.

The decisions you could no longer make for yourself include your personal finances and health care – therefore a lot of thought must be put into signing this document. However, if a relative is deemed to not have the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves this document cannot be applied for and instead you need to apply to the court of protection in their stead. If someone has signed this document and is deemed not to have the mental capacity to understand what they have done, this document will be declared void.

The power of attorney can be temporary, for those in hospital or with a short-term condition, or it can be more of a long-term solution. It can also be reviewed and terminated at any point. This is to ensure the protection of those who are giving up their decision making, or having it taken from them for their own safety and well-being.

There are three types of power of attorney:

  • Ordinary power of attorney – This is the simplest form of power of attorney and it usually put in place for temporary matters. It allows one or more people, your attorneys, to make financial decisions on your behalf. It is only valid while you still have mental capacity for your own decisions.
  • Lasting power of attorney – This is usually put in place as a precaution. It allows you to sign over your decision making for some point in the future when you lose your mental capacity or just no longer want to make decisions for yourself.  For this you can simply sign it for financial or health care decisions, but you can also do it for both depending on your needs.
  • Enduring power of attorney – This has been largely replaced by LPA’s. However, if you signed one before October 2007 it will still be valid. If you are acting upon one but have not signed it you can still do so if you are mentally capable. However, with this your attorney can only make decisions to do with finance and property, they cannot make decisions to do with health care.

How do I apply?

Contacting a solicitor should be your first step. Our experienced solicitors will help with all the paperwork so you don’t have to complete this lengthy process on your own. All applications are sent to the Office of Public Guardian to be reviewed.

Romain Coleman solicitors are always there to help. We believe in fighting for the best possible outcome for who we work with and ensure they understand each step in the process.

Contact our specialist team of dementia and elderly care solicitors on 0208 520 4555 to help make this a process you understand and are confident with.