What is power of attorney?
A legal document which gives someone else the authority to make decisions or take action on behalf of a person if they should become unable through incapacity (as declared by a registered and licensed medical practitioner) to make their own decisions in future. If the person has capacity to make their own decisions , they can still appoint one or more persons to be their power of attorney at a specified time or in specified circumstances. The definition of incapacity is: a lack of capacity to act on, make, communicate, understand or retain the memory of decisions because of mental disorder or restricted communication due to physical or other disability.
The person has to name who they wish to be their power of attorney and state when the power of attorney will start before they are unable to do so through incapacity. There is no limit to the number of attorneys you can appoint. Power of attorney can apply to decisions about money and property and/or health and welfare. Health and Welfare power of attorney applies only when a person no longer has capacity to make their own decisions. Power of attorney has to be granted before any decisions on their behalf are valid. For example decisions about selling property, paying for care or making a decision about treatment in the person’s best interest
Legal issues may be different for individual people. As a result the terms, content and cost of setting up a power of attorney may vary. For example if the person has assets abroad or owns a business. Always seek legal advice. There will be a financial charge to set up a power of attorney. The amount you may be charged can vary depending on which solicitor you choose.
See the link to the Office of the Public Guardian on the previous page.