Clear and simple guidance to help older people find their way through the care maze
It may be appropiate to review your will due to the change in your circumstances. If you haven't made a will you can contact a legal adviser such as a solicitor to arrange one.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney document allows you to appoint people that you trust to make decisions on your behalf.
There are 2 types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Property and Affairs, allows one or more people to make decisions about your property and money.
Health and Welfare, allows one or more people to make decisions about things like moving in to a care home and your medical care.
A LPA can only be used if it’s been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) precedes the Lasting Power of Attorney. EPAs are still valid though you cannot make a new one. An EPA can be used without registration, but must be registered if you have lost the capacity to make decisions. It only covers property and financial affairs so to complement it you may wish to make a Lasting Power of Attorney Health & Welfare.
A General Power of Attorney (GPA) cannot be seen as a substitute for an LPA or EPA as it ceases to have any validity in the event of cognitive impairment. It is usually used as a temporary measure to give someone else power over your affairs for a short period.
All these are powerful documents and arranging them should only be considered after a great deal of thought. It is possible to arrange a LPA and GPA without legal advice, however we suggest you consider professional advice before completing such documents.
If you no longer have the capacity to make decisions for yourself, and you do not have a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney in place, someone may need to be appointed to act on your behalf. If you are reading this on the behalf of someone else and wish to be appointed ask the Court of Protection to appoint you as a deputy.
A Deputy Order is similar in many ways to a Power of Attorney. However, because the Court has appointed you, rather than the person concerned, there is an increased level of supervision and some restrictions.
When the Court appoints a Deputy it sets out its requirements within the Deputy Order. This will explain the decisions that you can take yourself and those that will require the prior approval of the Court. It will also set out its other requirements such as providing the Court with an annual report and the purchase of indemnity insurance.
Like many professionals solicitors may specialise in certain areas. You may already have a solicitor. If you don't and would like to find one who is used to dealing with older clients and their families - Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) is an independent, national organisation of lawyers, such as solicitors, barristers, and legal executives who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.