Tel: 01384 878950 / 0121 455 9599 
A Will determines your wishes when you die but what happens if you become incapacitated during your lifetime? The answer is a Power of Attorney which is a legal document that details attorneys you trust to take decisions for you in your best interests, should you be unable to do so yourself. 
An example of the importance of a Power of Attorney is illustrated by a recent case where a carer persuaded an elderly woman to put her bank account into their joint names. Unfortunately, the carer went on to help herself to tens of thousands of pounds from the account. This is one reason for my concern when I hear of banks advising people to add a signatory to their account(s) for convenience. Even if the party added is honest, the arrangement ceases to have effect when one party loses capacity. 
 
As a safeguard, Powers of Attorney must be registered with Office of the Public Guardian, a government department, under the auspices of the Court of Protection, before they can be used. However, it is advisable to have Powers of 
 
Attorney registered when they are drawn up as there are currently delays of up to twelve weeks with the process which means that the attorneys cannot act in the interim, should the donor of the Power of Attorney become incapacitated. 
Inheritance Matters is happy to advise donors, who may already be incapacitated to a certain extent, and potential attorneys on all aspects of Powers of Attorney before commitment. 
 
Peter Heath 
Mob 07779 788893 
Tagged as: Powers of Attorney
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