Lasting Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (POA) allows you to give a close family member, friend or someone you trust the legal right to make decisions on your behalf.

There are typically two types of POA:

– An ‘Ordinary’, or ‘Limited’ POA, where you give someone authority over specific financial matters

A ‘Lasting’ Power of Attorney (LPA), which is a long-term agreement and covers your property and financial affairs as well as health and welfare.

However, the rules differ for Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, you can achieve the same goals with a Combined Power of Attorney. In Northern Ireland it’s known as an Enduring Power of Attorney, but (unlike in England, Wales and Scotland) you can’t give another person the legal power to make decisions about your health and welfare.

Setting up a POA brings a number of benefits. It lets someone you trust make financial and healthcare decisions for you if you’re no longer able to. It also helps your family access your money without delay.

You can only set up a POA for yourself while you still have the mental capacity to do so, which means it’s important to act sooner rather than later.

To understand more about the benefits of a POA and how to choose your trustees, it’s important to seek professional advice.

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