With one and a half million high-risk patients being told to stay home for 12 weeks and many other healthy individuals self-isolating, now may be a good time to set up the powers of attorney that you have been putting off doing.
Certainly in 2020 we can run our lives from home in ways that we would never have imagined in the past; nevertheless, there are still convincing reasons for putting powers of attorney in place.
The simplest type of power of attorney is the General Power which gives your attorney broad powers to manage your finances and make payments to third parties. They are easy to set up and can be time limited or restricted in other ways. The drawback, however, is that if you lose capacity then your General Power of Attorney will lapse.
As the prospect of losing capacity at some point in the future is often the prime motivator for having a power of attorney in the first place, the value of a General Power is clearly limited.
Fortunately, we also have available what are known as Lasting Powers of Attorney, (LPA) and these continue in force even if you lose capacity. Not only that, but an LPA for financial matters can be set up in such a way that it only comes into force should you ever lose capacity and otherwise lies dormant, meaning that you stay in sole control of your finances but with the reassurance that if you do ever lose capacity in the future then you have one or more trusted individuals in place ready to take over as soon as is needed.
As well as an LPA for financial affairs there is also one specially designed for health and welfare issues.
In fact a health and welfare LPA can be a vitally important document if you ever become infirm or seriously ill as it gives your appointed attorney(s) wide powers to manage and oversee your care and, most importantly, to hold care providers to account, which can be invaluable when we are at our most vulnerable.
Not only will your health and welfare attorney have power to manage your physical welfare but they can also be given extra powers, if you so wish, to give or refuse consent to life sustaining treatment. It is important to note, however, that this power does not permit euthanasia by the back door but is simply a delegation to your attorney of whatever legal rights you would have in the same situation were you only in a position to communicate them to your doctors.
If you would like more information about setting up a power of attorney please contact our David Maxwell on firstname.lastname@example.org or Rashid Azizi on Rashid.Azizi@dwfmbeckman.com and they will be happy to discuss with you by email or over the phone.
Please note that at the time of writing our offices are shut due to the Coronavirus national emergency, however, our team of dedicated lawyers are all fully enabled to work remotely and are continuing to assist our valued clients with a wide range of legal services.
Please note that this article is not intended to be exhaustive or be a substitute for legal advice. The application of the law in this area will depend upon the specific circumstances and facts and you are advised to seek specific advice for your circumstances.