Setting up Power of Attorney
Planning your care for the future
A lasting Power of Attorney and Advance Statements allow you to make decisions about your future care, in case there is a time when you cannot make decisions for yourself. People living with dementia and their families often find it very helpful to discuss these subjects and make plans for the future early in the dementia journey. Useful guides are available from Age UK and Alzheimers Society.
Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby one person (the ‘Donor’) gives another person or persons (the ‘Attorney’) the power to act on his or her behalf with regard to his or her property and financial affairs.
The most common types of Power of Attorney in England and Wales are:
- Ordinary Power of Attorney – which can be general or limited to specific affairs
- Enduring Power of Attorney – which can be used in the event of the Donor’s mental incapacity
Usually, an Ordinary Power of Attorney is created for a set period of time in cases where the Donor is going abroad or is unable to act for some other reason and wishes someone else to have the authority to act on his or her behalf. An Ordinary Power of Attorney will usually end either at a specified time or upon the request of the Donor at any time using a Deed of Revocation and will automatically be revoked if the Donor loses mental capacity. There is no requirement for the Ordinary Power of Attorney to be registered.
In contrast, an Enduring Power of Attorney allows the Donor to appoint one or more people (‘Attorneys’) to manage their property and financial affairs either immediately or at a future date. An Attorney does not have to register the Enduring Power of Attorney in order to use it. If, however, the Attorney wishes to use the power at a time after there is reason to believe that the Donor is, or is becoming mentally incapable of managing his or her financial affairs the Attorney must register the Enduring Power of Attorney.
The Office of the Public Guardian supports and promotes decision making for those who lack capacity or would like to plan for their future. Their contact details are as follows:
Office of the Public Guardian
2 Junction Road
Customer Services: 0845 330 2900
Text phone : 020 7664 7755 (this is intended for people who are deaf or hearing-impaired)