A large worry for many of us is that at anytime there is the risk that we will be unable to make our own decisions, meaning we need to rely on others to help. Power of attorneys (POAs) are a method of planning ahead to ensure you are financially secure in the future. Put simply, this legal documents provides somebody you trust with the ability to make particular decisions on your behalf whilst acting in your best interests. It is common belief that POAs are solely used to combat old age decision making, however serious illness or an unexpected accident may limit your ability to handle your own affairs.

Risk of not having a POA in place

If you do not have a power of attorney in place and lose capacity to make decisions regarding your finances and ongoing healthcare, the alternative process involves applying for a legal court order from the Court of Protection. This process is time-consuming and can be expensive. Being proactive and having the conversation with family members is crucial to ensure adequate protection is put in place ahead of time.

What is a power of attorney (POA)?

Put simply, it is a legal document that enables you (the donor) to allow one or more individuals (the attorneys) the relevant powers to make key decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to, or would prefer not to. Whilst you still have capacity, you can set up a power of attorney to cover one or both of the following areas – ‘financial affairs and property’ and ‘welfare’.

Getting advice

Choices available

Process of setting up an POA