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While you may never need it, having a Power of Attorney in place can give you peace of mind that should anything happen to you, your appointed attorney can take care of matters as you would wish.
Quinn, Martin & Langan is an established law firm, and we regularly assist clients with Powers of Attorney, Wills and estate planning. To discuss setting up a Power of Attorney with our solicitors, call us today on 0141 332 3702 or complete our online enquiry form below and one of our lawyers will contact you.
What is a Power of Attorney and do I need one?
A Power of Attorney (also known as a POA) is a legal document which grants authority to another person to manage your personal affairs. Your Power of Attorney may allow for your attorney to deal with your finances and property or your personal welfare - including making medical decisions on your behalf.
There are two types of Power of Attorney:
• Continuing Power of Attorney – this allows someone to deal with your money and property.
• Welfare Power of Attorney – this allows someone to make decisions about your care and medical decisions.
You have the option to make one Power of Attorney to cover both of the above, or you can appoint two separate people to deal with each type of Power of Attorney. You can also appoint joint attorneys or choose someone who may be a substitute if your primary attorney is unable to act.
We recommend that everyone make a Power of Attorney, as no one – not even your spouse – has the automatic right to make these decisions on your behalf should you lose mental capacity. The alternative is obtaining Guardianship, which can be a long and costly process at what will already be a difficult time.
When does a Power of Attorney come into effect?
Unlike Guardianship, the process for setting up a Power of Attorney is reasonably quick. We can draft a Power of Attorney for you, which is then registered with the Office of the Public Guardian who will issue a certificate of registration.
When it comes to a Welfare Power of Attorney, this will only come into effect after you have lost the capacity to make your own decisions.
With a Continuing Power of Attorney, you have the option for it to come into effect immediately, or in the event you lose capacity. There are several reasons as to why you may wish for a Continuing Power of Attorney to come into effect right away. For example, if you have to spend time in hospital, you may need to allow someone access to your bank accounts to pay your bills or sell your home.
Who can I appoint as my Attorney?
You may appoint anyone you trust to be your attorney, including your spouse, a family member, a friend or a solicitor. We would always recommend appointing more than one attorney, so that if one person is unable to act, the other can step in. You should consider who you think would be able to act as your attorney and discuss the role with them. This can ensure that the person you choose fully understands your wishes and is willing to act for you.
If you need help with making a Power of Attorney, get in contact with our team today. We understand that this may already be a difficult time for you, so we aim to make getting the legal advice you need as straightforward as possible. We look forward to hearing from you and providing the help you need.