A Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal arrangement that grants someone else the authority to make decisions on your behalf. This is particularly important in situations where you are unable to make decisions due to illness, injury, or other circumstances. In the UK, we have two main types of Power of Attorney: one that covers legal and financial matters, and another that pertains to medical decisions.
Lasting Power of Attorney:
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is very comprehensive and can cover both financial and health matters. An LPA can be created while you still have mental capacity, ensuring that your wishes are respected even if you become incapacitated. This could include tasks such as paying bills, managing bank accounts, selling property, or making investment decisions. It is crucial to choose someone you trust implicitly for this role, as they will have significant control over your assets and finances.
Medical Power of Attorney:
A Medical Power of Attorney, also known as an Advance Decision or Advance Directive, allows you to appoint a person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become unable to express your preferences. This is particularly important in end-of-life situations or if you are unable to communicate your wishes due to a medical condition.
It’s essential to create a legally binding document detailing your healthcare preferences and appointing a healthcare proxy to advocate for your choices. This can include decisions about life-sustaining treatments, organ donation, and other medical interventions.
Here in the UK, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides a legal framework for decision-making when individuals are unable to make their own choices. This emphasises the importance of respecting a person’s previously expressed preferences, including those outlined in a Medical Power of Attorney.
Creating a Power of Attorney requires careful consideration and should be tailored to your specific circumstances. It’s advisable to seek legal advice to ensure that your wishes are accurately documented and legally binding. By setting up Power of Attorney documents, you can have peace of mind knowing that your financial and medical affairs are in the hands of trusted individuals who will act in your best interests when you are unable to do so yourself.
To discuss Power of Attorney in more detail, please get in touch with our team.
Tel: 0333 241 7675