Q. Because of the pandemic I have been very worried that if I become ill, I wouldn’t be able to deal with everything that I normally have to deal with. If this happens would my brother be able to deal with everything, or do I need to make a power of attorney?
A: COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of ensuring our affairs are in order, not least because we all want to make life as simple as possible for ourselves and our loved ones.
It is a common misconception that if you are unable to deal with your own affairs you can simply ask a family member to do so on your behalf, as long as they are your ‘next of kin’. This actually is not the case and the majority of institutions are now very strict about who they will speak with regarding somebody else’s affairs.
Preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney allows you to appoint up to four attorneys (and additional replacement attorneys) to deal with your affairs on your behalf, as if they were you. Your attorneys can be appointed to act jointly or independently, and they must always act in your best interests.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney; one for your property and financial affairs and one for your health and welfare. You can appoint different attorneys in each document if you wish to.
In relation to your property and finances, you can allow your attorneys to act on your behalf whilst you still have mental capacity. This provides flexibility and is useful in situations such as the one in which we currently find ourselves, where we may not be able to get out and about. Before your attorneys can act on your behalf, the Lasting Powers of Attorney must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian.
This question has been answered by Jessica Wright a Solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. In accordance with government guidelines, most of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.
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