POA meaning – Power of Attorney (POA) is one of the most important parts of later life planning for many, with more and more people creating a POA in recent years.
A POA is a legal document that allows someone else to make decisions on your behalf, should you not be able to.
There are loads of reasons why you might create a POA, also referred to as a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), particularly if you have someone in mind to make decisions on your behalf.
Power Of Attorney Meaning
A POA is an important legal document and if you wish for someone to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf, it’s essential to have one in place.
And not only that – it must also be kept up to date should you have a change in circumstances.
You can only create a power of attorney if you have the mental capacity to make that decision for yourself, which is why people are advised to consider creating a POA at an earlier age.
Recent figures revealed that 73% of pensioners haven’t set up a power of attorney, which could present problems if their health diminishes and they are unable to make financial and medical decisions for themselves.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are the most common type of Power of Attorney, and you’ll often see the two terms used interchangeably. An LPA is an arrangement that has no expiration (hence the lasting), and it means that someone else can make decisions for you.
Once the document has been officially registered and witnessed, it can be used immediately, although it will require your permission if you still have the capacity to make decisions… or it can be set up to only take effect when you lose mental capacity.
How Do Lasting Powers Of Attorney Work?
There are two specific types of LPA and it’s common for people to set both up at the same time, and it’s often a part of the process of creating or updating a will.
The two types of LPA are:
- A health and welfare LPA
- Property and financial affairs LPA
A health and welfare LPA allows your attorney (the person you name to make decisions on your behalf) to make decisions on life-sustaining medical treatment, medical care, your daily routine, and moving into a care home (or not, depending on their decision).
A property and financial affairs LPA gives your attorney the ability to make decisions on your finances and property. That could be paying bills, collecting pensions and benefits, selling your home, managing bank accounts, and other financial matters.
All powers of attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, which your solicitor will handle.
It’s common for people to create a POA when looking at their wills and estate, and it’s often the case that the executor of their will is also the attorney for their POA.
Wills and probate solicitors deal with all things relating to later life, including wills, probate, and power of attorney. Planning for later life is one of those things a lot of us don’t like to talk about, but that’s precisely why it’s so important…
Finding A Power Of Attorney Solicitor Near Me
Choosing a solicitor to handle your will, power of attorney, and any later life planning is an incredibly important decision.
And remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question – if there’s anything you need to know about wills, assets, estates, tax planning, inheritance tax, and powers of attorney, just ask!
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