With an ageing population and heightened public awareness of conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, more and more people every year are choosing to arrange a Power of Attorney. To find out more about making a Power of Attorney, call our friendly Family Law Birmingham team today on 01217 563 381 or fill in our online contact form.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows other people to assist you to make decisions or make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to. Where possible, attorneys should help the granter of the Power of Attorney to make the decision for themself and should only make the decision for the person when they are unable to do so.
There are two types of Power of Attorney. One type of Power of Attorney covers health and welfare decisions and the other type covers financial and property decisions. You can decide whether you want to grant one type of Power of Attorney or grant both type.
You must be over the age of 18 and have mental capacity to grant a Power of Attorney.
Welfare Power of Attorney
A health and welfare Power of Attorney gives your attorney the power to make decisions relating to the medical care that you receive, medication and living arrangements such as whether you move into a care home.
Health and welfare powers can only be used once the granter of the Power of Attorney has lost capacity to make decisions for themselves.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial Power of Attorney gives your attorney the power to deal with your financial matters and make decisions relating to your pension, savings, selling and buying property on your behalf and collecting benefits you are entitled to. This type of Power of Attorney can also give your attorney the power to make gifts of cash on your behalf.
Unlike a welfare Power of Attorney which can only be used when the granter has lost capacity, financial powers can be used by an Attorney at any time, as long as the granter has given the attorney permission to use the powers.
Who Can be an Attorney?
In most cases, a person will choose their spouse, partner, children, relative or friend to act as their attorney. However, you can also appoint a professional such as a solicitor or accountant to act on your behalf. You can appoint more than one attorney and if you are granting both a financial and welfare Power of Attorney, you can appoint different people for each of the powers.
You can also decide whether you want to appoint multiple attorneys on a ‘joint and several’ basis or ‘jointly’. ‘Joint and several’ means that that one of your attorneys can make the decision on their own whereas if the attorneys have been appointed ‘jointly’ all of your attorneys would have to agree in order to make a decision on your behalf.
Your attorney must have mental capacity and must be over the age of 18.
It is important to appoint someone you trust and someone who you feel is capable of carrying out the tasks that may be expected of them as your attorney.
Power of Attorney Lawyers Birmingham
Contact our trusted team today for a no obligation chat about Power of Attorney. Call us on 01217 563 381 or fill in our online contact form today.