Having the freedom to make decisions for ourselves is something most of us take for granted, but have you thought about what would happen if you were suddenly unable to do this? Who would take the decisions needed to manage your financial affairs or to ensure that you were cared for in the way that you wish? You might assume that responsibility would automatically pass to your family, but unless you have made a lasting power of attorney authorising them to make decisions on your behalf it will be up to the Court of Protection to decide who should take on this role.
There are two types of lasting power of attorney that you can make: one to cover financial and property matters and one to cover health and welfare issues. You can choose to make both types or just one of them. You can also choose to make a business power of attorney to cover any commercial interests you have.
Appointing someone to make decisions on your behalf requires careful consideration. It is important that you know and trust your proposed attorneys and that they are happy to take on the responsibility you are giving them. It is also important that you are reassured that the authority given to your attorneys will only become exercisable in defined circumstances and that there are safeguards in place to prevent abuse.
The wills, trusts and probate lawyers at Hatten Wyatt Solicitors in Kent are on hand to guide you through the process of making a lasting power of attorney and to advise you on any other steps needed to ensure your affairs and personal interests are protected should you lose the ability to make important decisions for yourself.
We can prepare:
- a property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney;
- a health and welfare lasting power of attorney, accompanied by an advanced decision directing whether life sustaining treatment should be given; and
- a business power of attorney.
We can also help with applications to the Court of Protection:
- for the appointment of a deputy in cases where a loved one loses mental capacity before a lasting power of attorney can be made;
- to resolve issues on which attorneys or deputies may disagree; and
- to seek permission to take steps, or to make decisions, not covered by a lasting power of attorney or deputyship order.
If you would like us to, we can even act as an attorney or a deputy on your behalf.
When you make a lasting power of attorney it is also important to think about making a will, tax planning issues (particularly around inheritance tax) and, if you are an elderly client or someone with a progressive illness, your long-term care needs.
Advising families throughout Kent and beyond
We have offices in Maidstone, Gravesend, Tonbridge, Chatham and Tenterden where we can meet you to discuss your requirements.
We can also offer meetings at your home, in hospital or in a care facility, and in exceptional circumstances a telephone appointment can be arranged via skype.
An initial appointment to discuss your requirements can be arranged from £95 plus VAT. After that we can agree funding arrangements to suit your budget.
Get in touch
If you need assistance to make a lasting power of attorney, please get in touch to see how we can help. You can call us on 01474 351199 or use our contact form and we will call you.