Do you need to give someone else authority to manage your affairs when you’re not available to do so? If so, powers of attorney can assist with this issue. An ordinary power of attorney is a legal document authorising one or more people to handle your financial affairs. It’s only valid while you still have the mental capacity to make your own decisions.

A power of attorney gives the attorney (the person you choose to act for you) a legal document that proves their powers. It’s up to you to decide what the power of attorney covers. It can be a general power, without restrictions, or give limited powers only to do a specific task, for example, to sell a house. In either case, you can still also act for yourself. An ordinary power of attorney is only valid while you are capable of giving instructions. If you want someone to be able to act for you when you lose the capacity to make your own decisions, you should consider a lasting power of attorney rather than an ordinary power of attorney. Contact a member of our specialist team at our Whickham or Cramlington office for further information.

What happens if I lose mental capacity and I have not made an LPA? If you have lost your mental capacity, then it is too late to make an LPA and someone will have to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your deputy to deal with your financial and personal affairs. A Deputy application is much more complicated and expensive to prepare than an LPA, and many families find this an unwelcome burden at an already difficult time when a relative has lost capacity and unable to manage their own affairs. You cannot guarantee that the person eventually appointed as your Deputy with the Court of Protection would be the person that you would have chosen to deal with your personal affairs.

Our team of lawyers will help you with any decisions you or your family need to make. We provide a full service from making decisions, which may not affect you for a number of years, through to assisting with Probate and Estate Administration. We can draw up and provide advice on tax planning, gifts, legacies and trusts. We provide a full service for the administration of estates and probate.

Geoff Laws and Laura Fenwick are our Wills, Probate and LPA specialists who will be at hand every step of the process giving you peace of mind. For more information please contact us by phone, email or complete the contact form on our website.