Power of Attorney
Behavioural economics reveals that we may not be motivated to consider care needs while we're in good physical and mental health. We’re more likely to procrastinate, meaning we may confront this issue at a point when we’re no longer capable of dealing with it. For a person over the age of 65, the chance of developing Alzheimer's disease or dementia doubles roughly every five years. Estimates suggest that dementia affects one in six people aged over 80. This means people may want to act early to plan for the prospect that they may require care later in life.
One solution for your client is to appoint a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney gives legal power to one or more people to help make decisions, or to make decisions on behalf of another person.
Lasting Power of Attorney (Finance)
This gives someone permission to make decisions about your client's money and property, now or in future.
Lasting Power of Attorney (Health and Welfare)
This is what you’ll need, to give someone permission to make decisions about your client's healthcare, care arrangements and wider welfare if they aren’t able to.
In Scotland, the equivalent to a Lasting Power of Attorney is simply called Power of Attorney. It's used in a similar way and can be set up to make decisions on Finance, Health and Welfare or both.
Enduring Power of Attorney
If your clients' live in Northern Ireland, they'll need an Enduring Power of Attorney. This gives someone permission to make decisions about their finances if they're no longer able to. If they live in England or Wales and set up a Power of Attorney before 2007 it will also be one of these.
Ordinary Power of Attorney
This gives someone permission to access your client's finances on there behalf, but only while they still have capacity to make their own decisions. If they'd like to make sure they can help even if they lose capacity, they'll need to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney.
|Name used for Power of Attorney||Lasting Power of Attorney||Lasting Power of Attorney||Power of Attorney||Enduring Power of Attorney|
|Supervisory body||Office of the Public Guardian||Office of the Public Guardian||Office of the Public Guardian Scotland||Office of Care and Protection|
|Actions||Find out more||Find out more||Find out more||Find out more|
Choosing an attorney
An attorney should be someone your client trusts. It could be a partner or spouse, another family member, a close friend or a professional. It can be more than one person, but the client should specify whether each attorney can act alone or whether decisions should be agreed collectively (a hybrid approach is also possible).
If someone loses the capacity to act without setting up a Power of Attorney, the Court of Protection can appoint a deputy to make decisions on their behalf.