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Where did I leave my car?

Have you ever parked the car and then forgotten where you left it?

Maybe it’s time to appoint an attorney!

There are currently four main types of power of attorney – Lasting, Enduring, Ordinary and Special. Each one authorises someone to manage your affairs whilst it is difficult for you to do so. They can be used if you have a physical disability or are away travelling for a long period or perhaps if one day you become confused. A power of attorney can be a great help to enable you to retain control whilst at the same time allowing others to act on your behalf on the occasions when you need help.

Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) are the most popular version. There are two types - one for property and financial affairs and another for health and welfare. You can take out either or both, but undoubtedly both are best.

A property and financial affairs LPA covers such matters as buying or selling investments and property, operating a bank account, paying bills, dealing with tax affairs and claiming state benefits - in fact anything to do with managing your finances. A health and welfare LPA allows others to decide where you live, day-to-day care, whether to give or refuse consent to medical treatment and even end of life decisions when you can no longer make such decisions for yourself.

Your attorney will be given extensive powers – so you need to be sure you can trust them to act in your best interests and to make decisions appropriate to you. You can appoint more than one attorney and you can limit the powers you give if that makes you feel more comfortable.

An LPA cannot be used unless it is registered so register it straight away to avoid delay in the future which could be both frustrating and costly.

Powers of attorney are extremely useful and will give you the comfort of knowing that the person you appoint will have a good idea of the sort of decisions you would make for yourself. So choose your attorneys wisely and only appoint more than one if they will act in harmony. You could prepare a written note if there are any particular points you want to explain to them.

If you leave it too late to make your LPAs, control will be taken away from you by the Court of Protection so it’s best to organise your powers of attorney sooner rather than later.

For more information or to make an appointment please contact Philip Lansberry, Gemma Spencer or Sarah Kench.

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