Rollos

Powers Of Attorney

A Power of Attorney authorises someone to act on your behalf if you are unwilling or unable to look after your own affairs.

Your Attorney can, for example, operate your Bank account, sign documents for you and make decisions regarding your health and welfare.

It is essential that you grant a Power of Attorney when you are able to do so. Leaving it too late might well result in an expensive and time consuming application to the Court to have a guardian appointed. We can quickly and cheaply prepare a Power of Attorney to suit your needs.

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Got a question about Powers of Attorney?

To help you further we have put together a list of the most frequesntly asked questions about Powers of Attorney below.

WHAT IS POWER OF ATTORNEY?

A Power of Attorney is a written document giving someone else authority to take actions or make decisions on your behalf.  You choose the person(s) you want to help you. These person(s) are called an Attorney and you can decide what powers the attorney should have. You also choose how you want your incapacity to be decided so that it is clear when you want your Attorney(s) to act for you.

Under a Continuing Power of Attorney you appoint individual(s) who can assist in dealing with your financial affairs if you are incapable of doing so.

Under a Welfare Power of Attorney your Attorney(s) deal with matters relating to your personal welfare, such as decision about care, accommodation and medical treatment. Such decisions would only be made by your Attorney(s) if a doctor certifies you have become unable to give your own instructions.

WHAT DOES A POWER OF ATTORNEY DO?

It lets you say who you want to look after your affairs and what you want your Attorney(s) to be able to do for you if you are incapable of doing for yourself.  Normally a Power of Attorney is not actually used until such times as you are unable to deal with matters yourself.

WHAT DOES INCAPABLE MEAN?

Someone’s capacity could be impaired gradually or suddenly as a result of an accident or illness. A registered and licensed medical doctor will be able to say where or not that person is incapable.

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF I DIDN’T HAVE A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

If you did not have a Power of Attorney and became incapable to give instructions or sign papers, maybe through illness, a Guardian may have to be appointed by the Court to deal with your financial affairs. This process can be expensive and time consuming.

CAN I CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT A POWER OR ATTORNEY?

You have the right to change your mind at any time.

WOULD MY FAMILY BE ABLE TO HELP WITHOUT A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

No. No-one has the automatic right to take actions on your behalf without legal authority.

WHO CAN I APPOINT AS MY ATTORNEY(S)?

It is your choice to appoint whoever you want. This could be a family member, a Solicitor or other professional or a combination. You could appoint one person to deal with your financial affairs and another to deal with your personal welfare. Please note that someone who has been declared bankrupt cannot be appointed as a continuing Attorney.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE POWER OF ATTORNEY?

A Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used, even if you are still capable of doing things for yourself. Once registered, the Office of the Public Guardian will return the signed Power of Attorney and issue a Certificate of Registration of Power of Attorney.

WHAT IF MY PARTNER IS MY ATTORNEY AND WE SPLIT UP?

It depends on the wording in your Power of Attorney whether your partner can still act on your behalf or whether the Power of Attorney can no longer be used but generally you would rescind the Power of Attorney in their favour and grant a fresh one in favour of someone else.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY ATTORNEY BECOMES UNABLE TO ACT ON MY BEHALF?

You will need to draw up a new Power of Attorney. It is a good idea to have more than one Attorney to step in if your Attorney can no longer do things for you.

HOW MUCH DOES A POWER OF ATTORNEY COST?

When you make an appointment with one of our Solicitors we will provide an estimate of our fee at the first meeting. Our rates are very competitive. It would be a good idea to consider a Will if you do not have one or updating your existing Will if your circumstances have changed.