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Why should I create a Power of Attorney?

Lasting Powers of Attorney Vs Court of Protection Deputy Order

Creating Lasting Powers of Attorney should be part of every adult’s future planning. Of course we want to handle our own affairs for as long as we live, but sometimes that’s simply not possible. Life throws a lot of unexpected challenges from time to time so the best thing to do for ourselves and for the sake of our families is to be prepared.

RG Law helps customers and their families to make sure that all the affairs are in order and if no plans were put in place, then the best course of action can be found to resolve any issues.

Case study for creating a Lasting Powers of Attorney

Mr and Mrs P have created their Wills and expressed an interest to make Lasting Powers of Attorney at the same time.

There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney – one for Property and Affairs and one for Health and Welfare. They are valid during the lifetime of the customer so if they fall ill temporarily or long term, the documents can be used as authority to make decisions and handle any financial matters.

With RG Law’s assistance, Mr and Mrs P created and had their Lasting Powers of Attorney formerly registered with the Office of the Public Guardian to make them legally binding. The whole process took approximately two weeks for the documents to be drafted and sent out to Mr and Mrs P for signing. Once they had signed and their attorneys and certificate provider had also signed the documents, RG Law checked the documents before sending them to the Office of the Public Guardian for registering. The Office of the Public Guardian took approximately 8 to 10 weeks to register the documents.

Whilst waiting for the registered documents, Mr P unexpectedly experienced some health issues which caused him to be temporarily bedbound. Mr P was therefore unable to deal with any banking or other financial affairs. Once the registered documents were received, RG Law sent the original documents to Mr P. Mr P then gave Mrs P the authority to lodge them with his banks and other financial institutions to deal with things on his behalf. This allowed Mrs P to deal with his finances whilst Mr P is temporarily bedbound. Mr P will still be able to deal with his own finances when he recovers.

If the Lasting Power of Attorney was not in place, Mrs P would not have been able to have authority to deal with her husband’s finances, even though they are married. Now the documents can be used as and when necessary for the rest of their lives uncles they choose to cancel them.

Case study for a Court of Protection application

Mr W has no immediate family and resides in a privately run care home. Mr W has recently lost capacity and is unable to deal with his finances. He does not have any Lasting Powers of Attorney in place and the care home now need to be paid for their services. As there is no Lasting Power of Attorney, this means that nobody has authority to make decisions on Mr W’s behalf or pay his bills. Mr W had a financial advisor but he also has no authority to run day to day financial affairs.

The bank cannot release the funds to pay for the care because the bank cannot make decisions for the customer. This means that large arrears are accumulating and the care home cannot get paid. The care home decided to review their position as to whether Mr W should be relocated to the local authority care home even though this would be very traumatic for Mr W.

Mr W’s financial advisor and the care home approached RG Law for assistance. Mr W’s doctor assessed his capacity and confirmed that he no longer was able to handle his own affairs. This meant that it was too late for Mr W to create a Lasting Power of Attorney and an alternative solution had to be found.

Where there is no Lasting Power of Attorney, an application must be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a suitable Deputy to handle the financial affairs for Mr W. RG Law prepared and lodged the necessary documents with the court. This is a detailed and lengthy process to make sure that the court has all the right information in order to make the appointment. The timeframe currently is anything between 6 and 12 months.

Once the application is complete and the Deputy Order has been issued, this can be lodged with banks and other financial institutions to allow the Deputy to access funds and in Mr W’s case, pay his care fees from his funds.

The situation was resolved for Mr W in the end, but it took nearly 12 months to get the order and his residence at the care home was in jeopardy for a long time.

Mr W had no say himself in who the Deputy should be or how his affairs should be dealt with. Had he created a Lasting Power of Attorney in advance, this whole situation could have been avoided.

Wills and Probate team are always ready to help and support every customer through whatever challenges may come their way.

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