Free Power of Attorney

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Governing Law

England
Frequently Asked Questions

Which Governing Law should I choose?A Power of Attorney is normally governed by the laws of the place where the power is intended to operate (e.g. the jurisdiction in which your Attorney will be exercising his or her authority). If you intend the Attorney's power to operate in more than one jurisdiction, you should probably create a separate document for each jurisdiction.What is a Power of Attorney?If you don’t have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 allows you to create a Power of Attorney which is a document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person (the Attorney) to act for him or her. There are many reasons why you might want to appoint someone else to look after your affairs.

For example, if you are going to be out of the country for a lengthy period of time, you might want someone to do your banking while you are gone. If you are approaching old age, you may want to give a Power of Attorney to a person you trust so that he or she can manage your property for you.

Power of Attorney

Alternate Names

A Power of Attorney is also known as:

  • Lasting Power of Attorney
  • POA or P.O.A.
  • Enduring Power of Attorney
  • Ordinary Power of Attorney
  • Continuing Power of Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (or POA) is a legal document that designates one or more persons who can make critical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make these decisions yourself. This situation can arise if you are out of country on holidays or travelling for business, or if you ever become debilitated due to an injury or illness.

The person(s) you designate in your POA is referred to as your attorney. They may also be called your agent or representative.

There are variations on how Power of Attorney works in different parts of the UK. LawDepot's Power of Attorney is customized based on the country you select in the questionnaire.

What types of Powers of Attorney are there?

There are two types of Powers of Attorney: Ordinary and Lasting.

An Ordinary Power of Attorney is only valid while you are mentally sound and able to make decisions. This type of POA is typically used when you want to delegate certain decisions to your attorney because you will be unavailable due to travel or other circumstances which require your full attention.

Alternatively, a Lasting Power of Attorney (or LPA) remains valid if you are ever incapacitated and unable to manage your own affairs. This can occur if you are injured in an accident, if you develop a debilitating illness, or if you suffer a sudden severe health crisis such as an aneurism or stroke.

In England and Wales, there are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

  • LPA for Property and Financial Affairs
  • LPA for Health and Welfare

An LPA for Property and Financial Affairs grants your attorney authority to make decisions concerning your assets and personal property.

An LPA for Health and Welfare lets your attorney make decisions about items like your daily living routine, moving into an extended care facility, or requesting aid from social services. You can also give your attorney the power to provide or withhold consent for life-sustaining medical treatment.

Note: You can use a single Lasting Power of Attorney document to indicate your wishes for both your Property and Financial Affairs, and Health and Welfare requirements.

You will need to have your completed and witnessed Lasting Power of Attorney registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it is considered fully active.

Both Ordinary and Lasting POAs become invalid when the creator passes away. In this event, the executors of the deceased's Last Will and Testament receive control over the distribution of the estate.

What happens if I don't have a Power of Attorney?

If you become incapacitated and don't have a Power of Attorney in place, the authority to make decisions on your behalf is not automatically granted to your spouse or a family member. The Court of Protection can choose to assign a deputy to act on your behalf.

Who can be my attorney?

Your attorney can be anyone of sound mind 18 years or older. This includes:

  • Your spouse or civil partner
  • A parent, sibling, or other family member
  • A trusted friend or colleague
  • A professional, like a solicitor

When should I make a Power of Attorney?

You should consider creating a POA in these situations:

  • You are going to holiday in another country for a long stretch of time.
  • You want to guarantee someone you implicitly trust has control over your affairs.
  • You have a health condition which could eventually impair your mental soundness.
  • Your employment makes you travel out of country for extended periods.
  • You are a member of the military and are being stationed overseas.
  • You want your spouse or a family member to control what medical treatments you agree/disagree to if you are unable to express your wishes.

Related Documents:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Power of Attorney FAQ - England

Power of Attorney FAQ - Northern Ireland

Power of Attorney FAQ - Scotland

Power of Attorney FAQ - Wales

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