A lasting power of attorney is a document that you can sign appointing another person as your attorney, and authorising that person to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity. It is an arrangement that can assist in the estate planning process, as it enables your attorney to make decisions about your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated.
There are two types of lasting power of attorney. One is for property and financial affairs, and the other type is for health and welfare decisions.
To be effective, you (or the attorney you appoint) must register the lasting power of attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian. An unregistered lasting power of attorney does not confer any legal powers on the attorney.
Since 1 October 2007, Lasting Powers of Attorney have replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney. So you can no longer give an Enduring Power of Attorney – although Enduring Powers of Attorney made before that date are still valid and can be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Finding a solicitor who can help
To learn more about powers of attorney, you may want to visit the excellent Office of the Public Guardian website.
If you think you may need legal advice, there are many solicitors who can help you plan for the future and with estate planning, and you can find them with an online search and by checking the Law Society website. A matching service, such as Contact Law, may also be a convenient way to find a quality-assured solicitor in your area who has the relevant skills and expertise.
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