You may wish to think about what will happen if you become unable to manage your own affairs. A Power of Attorney is a legal document, which authorises one or more people to handle your health or financial affairs. You can set up a Power of Attorney for a limited time, or to deal with a specific situation.
Ordinary Power of Attorney
An Ordinary Power of Attorney allows you to nominate one or more people to deal with your finances on your behalf.
The document can be general and cover every aspect of your affairs, or you can specify which matters your attorney can deal with.
You can end the arrangement at any time and the document automatically becomes invalid if you lose mental capacity.
You may wish to consider an Ordinary Power of Attorney if you -
- are going abroad for a period of time
- are going into hospital or are physically unable to manage your finances due to illness or disability
- would like someone else to deal with a particular financial matter, for example, selling your property
To complete an ordinary power of attorney, you should contact a solicitor or senior adviser. You can contact Hull and East Riding Citizens Advice Bureau for information on Ordinary Power of Attorney. You can contact them via -
- email - email@example.com
- telephone (general enquires) - 03444 111 444
in person –
Citizens Advice Hull & East Riding (CAB)The Wislon Centre
Alfred Gelder Street,
Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions (you ‘lack mental capacity’).
You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions) when you make your LPA
You don’t need to live in the UK or be a British citizen.
There are two types of LPA -
- health and welfare
- property and financial affairs
You can choose to make one type or both.
An LPA can be cancelled at any time, but only before you lose mental capacity.
Both types of LPA’s must be created in a specific format. You can obtain the forms from the GOV.UK website or you can instruct a solicitor to prepare one for you.
You must register your LPA before it becomes legal binding.
There is a £82 fee in order to register each LPA. However, deeding on your financial circumstances, you may be eligible for a reduced fee or it may even be free. You are given an opportunity to apply for a reduced rate at the end of the application process.
Court of Protection
The Court of Protection has been designed to deal with the decision making process for adults who lack capacity. The Court of Protection has the same powers, rights, privileges and authority as the High Court.
The Court of Protection may –
- Make decisions on financial and welfare matters affecting people who lack capacity
- Appoint deputies to make decisions for someone who lacks capacity
- Remove deputies or attorneys who act inappropriately
- Hear cases around Lasting and Enduring Power of Attorney
When reaching any decision the Court of Protection must make the decision based on the ‘best interest of the person who lacks capacity.
The Court of Protection can make decisions about the finances and welfare of people who cannot make decisions for themselves.
If someone only has income from benefits and no capital then their affairs can be managed by an Appointee – through the Department for Work and Pensions. If they have capital (e.g. savings) then a court appointed deputy will be required.
If your friend or relative:
- Is mentally incapable of managing their own financial or welfare affairs
- has not made an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney (EPA) and is now mentally incapable of doing so
- has assets that need to be used for his or her benefit or administered in some way, or has complex welfare decisions that cannot be resolved in any other way
Then you can apply to the Court of Protection.
The Court will either make a one-off decision or they will appoint a Deputy to manage and administer the person's property and financial affairs.
Please note - they do not offer legal advice so for this, or for help in understanding the Powers of Attorney, you should contact a solicitor.