What types of Power of Attorney are there in the UK?Smart Will
What types of Power of Attorney are there in the UK?
A power of attorney is a legal arrangement that allows one or more people (the attorneys) to act legally on behalf of another.
This is a typical arrangement where someone cannot make or communicate decisions on their own behalf, for instance, if they lose mental capacity through illness or a longer-term condition such as Alzheimer’s.
In England and Wales, there are three different types of power of attorney.
Ordinary Power of Attorney
The first type is what is called an ‘Ordinary Power of Attorney’.
This is a method of allowing someone to conduct affairs on your behalf but whilst you still have the mental capacity to do so on your own.
These are useful if you need to appoint an attorney for a temporary period, perhaps if you are ill or away on active service.
People who find it difficult to leave their home or who do not feel up to making decisions that affect their financial wellbeing may also use an ordinary power of attorney.
It’s important to note that this method is used whilst you still have the capacity to make your own decisions but for one reason or another don’t wish to do so.
An ordinary power of attorney can be limited to certain aspects such as decisions around just the finances or only a property and as such are quite flexible and of course they can be time-limited and rescinded.
If you become unable to make decisions on your own behalf then you will need to use a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Enduring Power of Attorney
This is an older form of power of attorney and has been superseded by a Lasting Power of Attorney (see below) however they may still be in force for some people given that the change occurred in October 2007.
EPA’s signed before this date are still legally valid.
An Enduring Power of Attorney can cover decisions about your property and financial affairs and is designed to, as the name suggests last forever.
Unlike an ordinary power of Attorney, this method is purely for use when the person making it has lost the ability to make their own decisions.
Lasting Power of Attorney
The newer type of Power of Attorney is the ‘lasting’ form.
This is split down further into two sub-types; a Property & Financial LPA and a Health & Welfare LPA.
The Property and Financial LPA is a method of giving an attorney the power to control bank accounts, collect and administer benefits and pensions or even maintaining or selling a property.
Again this can be limited to certain aspects and crucially you can specify when this will take effect.
The Health and Wellbeing LPA is a way of letting someone else make decisions about your care should you be unable to do so.
It can cover a variety of aspects such as what drugs are administered, when to move into a care home, how you are cared for and even whether life-sustaining treatment should be provided.
SmartWill can help
If you are considering making a power of attorney then why not speak with one of our experts.
We understand the difficult decisions that might have to be made and can guide you through the process of collecting your thoughts, making up the documentation and registering them with the government.
Best of all you’ll find that our highly efficient service is quick and of course cost-effective.
Call us now to find out more about how we can help.