Sometimes it isn’t possible for a person to make a court appearance or make significant decisions when it comes to finances and personal welfare. A court of protection deputy or a power of attorney gives these people a voice – and the sooner you appoint an attorney the better.
At 174 Law we have given thousands of people advice on the power of attorney and the court of protection – if you or your loved one are looking for guidance, we’re available to answer your questions.
What is court of protection / power of attorney?
A court of protection deputy is appointed by the courts themselves to make financial and personal welfare (healthcare) decisions for an individual who isn’t able to. The deputy has to submit an annual report to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to show proof of all expenses and transactions made on behalf of the individual.
A power of attorney, although similar to a court of protection deputy, is where someone else makes decisions for an individual who isn’t able to make those decisions due to their mental capacity. If you want represent someone in court then you’ll need a legal document to prove you have permission.
People who may need power of attorney could include:
- Those temporarily in hospital and unable to make it to court
- Those who lack the ‘mental capacity’ to make decisions for themselves
There are four types of power of attorney including:
Ordinary power of attorney
You attorney (representative) can manage your assets and finances. This includes taxes, property, opening and closing bank accounts, investments, bills, benefits and so on.
Lasting power of attorney (LPA)
Your attorney can make decisions with regards to your finances or your personal welfare such as the type of care or sheltered accommodation you need, your diet, who you socialise with and medical care.
Enduring power of attorney (EPA)
EPAs were replaced by LPAs but your attorney can still make decisions about your finances if they signed an EPA before 1st October 2007.
Short term power of attorney
Your attorney will only have powers for a temporary amount of time.
Do I need a solicitor for power of attorney?
It’s highly advisable to hire a solicitor for a power of attorney – just so you can stay in the know. There’s a lot of legal jargon involved in the power of attorney, so getting a solicitor could go a long way in helping.
It’s also strongly recommendable to hire a solicitor when:
- The attorney only need to carry out specific duties
- You need tailored advice about appointing an attorney if you lose mental capacity
- You need specific advice about lasting power of attorney.
It’s always a good idea to plan for the future – so even if you don’t need a power of attorney, it’s always advisable to talk to a solicitor about your options should you need them later in life.