Power of Attorney Solicitors in Sidcup, Bexley, Kent
For many people a time will come when they need some help with making decisions or require assistance with carrying out practical everyday tasks.
We know that many people worry about becoming unwell or suffering from a mind-altering brain injury or illness in the future – such as dementia or Alzheimer’s – which could affect their ability to make normal day to day decisions.
At Woolsey Morris & Kennedy, we can help you achieve peace of mind by helping you make a Power of Attorney, allowing a person to formally decide who can make decisions for you if help is needed now or in the future. Without this formal authority, those closest to you will likely have no right or ability to make decisions on your behalf.
We fully understand the concerns that people have about their future health, whilst also wanting to remain in control of decisions affecting their finances and welfare for as long as possible. We aim to make your Power of Attorney as efficient and straightforward as possible, so you no longer have to worry.
For further advice and information, please contact our Power of Attorney lawyers in Sidcup, the London Borough of Bexley, Kent by calling 020 8300 9321, emailing email@example.com, or by filling in the simple enquiry form at the top of the page.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legally binding document which gives someone – usually a close friend or relative – the authority to make decisions on your behalf in the event you:
- Lose your mental capacity; or
- You no longer want to make your own decisions
You may wish to make a Power of Attorney if:
- You have been diagnosed with an illness such as dementia and you may lose your mental capacity in the future
- You want peace of mind in case you lose your mental capacity in the future
- You need someone to make decisions on your behalf temporarily, for example, if you are going into hospital for a short while and need assistance managing your household expenses
What types of Power of Attorney are there?
There are three main types of Power of Attorney:
- Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – LPAs allow someone to make decisions for you after you lose your mental capacity or if you don’t want to make your own decisions yourself. LPAs can cover your finances, your personal welfare, or both.
- Ordinary Power of Attorney – covers decisions about your finances while you still have mental capacity.
- Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) – EPAs allow someone to make decisions about your finances for you after you lose your mental capacity or no longer want to make your own decisions. They were replaced by LPAs in 2007, however, EPAs made before 2007 will likely still be valid and we can provide advice on whether this is the case.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
Lasting Powers of Attorney grant someone – called an attorney – authority to make decisions for you.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
- Property and Financial Affairs Power of Attorney
Your LPA can either cover one or both types of decisions, depending on your personal circumstances.
Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
This kind of LPA can only be used when you have lost your mental capacity and covers important decisions about things like:
- Your day-to-day routine, such as your meals
- Where you should live
- Your care and medical treatment
- What activities you should take part in
Your attorney can also be authorised to make decisions about life-saving care and medical treatment.
Property and Financial Affairs Power of Attorney
This type of LPA authorises your attorney to make decisions about things like:
- Paying the mortgage or rent
- Paying bills
- Buying or selling property
- Making investments
- Managing your household expenses
- Arranging property repairs
You can authorise your attorney to make decisions about your financial affairs after you lose your mental capacity or if you no longer want to make these decisions yourself (for example, if you find it difficult to leave the house or you are going to hospital for a while).
You can also stipulate how long the Power of Attorney will last and specify exactly what kinds of decisions your attorney is authorised to make. For example, you may authorise someone to pay your bills while you are in hospital, but not to sell your property.
Ordinary Powers of Attorney
Ordinary Powers of Attorney (also known as General Powers of Attorney) allow an attorney to make financial decisions on your behalf and are only valid while you still have mental capacity.
Reasons you might make an Ordinary Power of Attorney include:
- You want someone to make your decisions because you find it difficult to manage your own financial affairs, such as using a computer or going to the bank yourself
- You want someone to temporarily manage your finances for you, for example, because you are going into hospital or on holiday
It is possible to limit the extent of your Ordinary Power of Attorney, for example, you may want to authorise someone to manage your current account but not to access or spend your savings.
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA)
Enduring Powers of Attorney were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney in 2007, however, EPAs made before 2007 will still be valid although they cannot be changed. In this case, you will need to cancel it and set up an LPA.
EPAs enable someone to manage your financial affairs in the event you lose your mental capacity.
What is mental capacity?
Many people specify that their Power of Attorney cannot be used until they lose their mental capacity (and Health and Welfare LPAs cannot be used while you still have mental capacity).
Mental Capacity means the ability to:
- Make decisions when they need to be made
- Understand what making the decision means
- Understand why it needs to be made
- Understand the consequences on making the decision
A person’s mental capacity may fluctuate over time, so it’s important to assess their decision-making abilities at the specific time a decision needs to be made.
Making decisions need not be verbal. A person with mental capacity may be able to communicate their decisions through gestures and signs even if they cannot use words. A person may also have mental capacity even if they take a long time to come to a decision.
How do you make a Power of Attorney?
Our Power of Attorney solicitors offer a comprehensive service covering all Power of Attorney related matters, including:
- Advising you about the types of Power of Attorney
- Tailoring our advice to your individual circumstances so you can make an informed decision about what type is best for you
- Drafting your Power of Attorney in line with your wishes and the Office of the Public Guardian’s formal requirements
- Registering your Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian
Do you need a solicitor to make a Power of Attorney?
It is beneficial to instruct a solicitor to guide you through the Power of Attorney process because:
- Powers of Attorney need specific wording to make them valid
- It is important to ensure the document properly outlines your wishes (and excludes anything you don’t want your attorney to do)
- There are other complicated formal requirements such as registering the document which are easy to get wrong if you are not familiar with this process
- Any errors, either in drafting or validating your Power of Attorney, could cause problems down the line.
Our Power of Attorney solicitors have extensive experience helping clients create Powers of Attorney, eliminating any opportunity for mistake, and ensuring your document is set up professionally and efficiently.
How much does it cost to get a Power of Attorney?
We aim to be clear and transparent with our fees and wherever possible we will provide you with an upfront quote for our Power of Attorney drafting services, so you will always know exactly how much your Power of Attorney will cost.
There will also a third-party cost to register a Power of Attorney in England and Wales (you are required to register it in order for the document to be valid).
This registration fee is £82 per Power of Attorney. So, if you want to make an LPA which covers both health and welfare and financial affairs, the registration fee is £164.
Why choose Woolsey Morris & Kennedy’s Power of Attorney lawyers?
At Woolsey Morris & Kennedy, we are devoted to helping our clients plan for their futures and ensuring their experience is as straight-forward and stress-free as possible.
Two members of our team, Tim Goodwin and Emma Bland, are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), an association of lawyers with skills and expertise in succession planning and family inheritance.
As a firm, we are accredited by the Law Society in Lexcel for our exceptional attention to client care and practice management.
Woolsey Morris & Kennedy is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Speak to our Power of Attorney solicitors in Sidcup, the London Borough of Bexley, Kent
If you would like more advice about Power of Attorney, please feel free to speak in confidence to one of our team now by calling 020 8300 9321 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Power of Attorney services include:-
- Lasting Powers of Attorney – Property and Financial Affairs;
- Lasting Powers of Attorney – Health and Welfare;
- Acting as Certificate Providers on Lasting Powers of Attorney;
- General Powers of Attorney;
- Registration of an Enduring Power of Attorney;
- Acting as professional Attorneys; and
- Advising and acting on behalf of Attorneys.