As our loved ones get older, we might notice that their memory might not be what it once was, or they are having trouble keeping on top of finances and other big decisions.
Power of attorney means that you can make decisions on their behalf, should they be unable to make decisions for themselves. There are also occasions when people simply don’t want to make decisions for themselves rather than are unable to.
What is power of attorney?
It is easy to assume that power of attorney is just a single thing, where the decision-making process is given to someone else.
But actually, there are different types of power of attorney. There are short term options where a temporary power of attorney happens; this is an idea for illnesses. Longer-term plans are usually recommended when people are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
What are the different types of power of attorney?
There are a few options you have for power of attorney.
Enduring power of attorney covers financial decisions and property if you should lose your mental capacity. You might see these now as LPA, as they were replaced in October 2007.
Lasting power of attorney – lasting power of attorney services means that if you no longer have mental capacity, someone can take care of your health and finances and care you trust can do it for you.
Ordinary power of attorney can be in action when you have mental capacity and allows for decisions about financial affairs. Often used for hospital stays and when someone is temporarily incapable or doesn’t want to make decisions.
Why should you consider power of attorney?
If you need help making important decisions in the future, or a loved one will need support and have someone act in their best interest if they can’t, a power of attorney is a great thing to do.
A power of attorney can be limited so that the person taking power can have a say over specific things. It might just cover paying bills or taking care of the property or bank access. It can be purpose-built to take care of people and their assets in the best way possible.
Power of attorneys can be arranged long before they are needed and can come into play when the person loses capacity and no longer wants to make decisions.
While many people assume that as next of kin, a spouse or a child, they will have these rights automatically, they most likely don’t. Instead, some standard wording documents need to be created and signed.
There are costs associated with arranging an LPA, but if you are on a low income, you might get up to 50% off the registration of these documents – pay nothing at all.
It is a good idea to have these conversations long before you need to so that people taking the role of power of attorney are prepared.
If you or your loved ones are in the process of getting your finances in order, here are some great tips: Tips To Secure Your Life Financially For The Future.