The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. Even your husband or wife might need the court’s permission to access even your joint bank accounts, thanks to new, tighter regulations. There is a solution and that is to draw up Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPAs’) while you are able to.
A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf (an Attorney) if you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney you can make, one for your property and financial affairs and one for your health and welfare.
With an LPA you can transfer the running of your affairs to a third party, who is called an ‘Attorney’. Usually this is a spouse or close relative, but it could be a professional representative or trusted friend.
There are some important issues to consider (not all of which are obvious), but once in place an LPA will save your loved ones a great deal of time, expense and worry when life is complicated enough. We can guide you through the entire process, including the registration paperwork.
The old style Enduring Power of Attorney has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian if the person who made it (the Donor) loses mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. We can assist in advising when an Enduring Power of Attorney needs to be registered and how to register it.
If you are going to be unable to manage your affairs on a relatively short-term basis because you are going to be out of the country or in hospital, a general Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a person to act on your behalf in your absence. We can assist you with the making of this document and can tailor the Power of Attorney for a specific transaction, for example selling your property, or make it general for your wider needs.