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Power of attorney

Power of attorney is a legal document that gives one person the power to act for you in the event that you are unable to. The person that you nominate can have broad or limited legal authority to make decisions about your property and finances.

It is a good idea to nominate someone that you trust to act as your attorney, as it ensures that your affairs will be properly looked after.

Ordinary power of attorney

An ordinary power of attorney is most commonly used in situations where you need someone to act for you on a temporary basis, for example, while you are away on holiday. It is only valid while you have the mental capacity to make your own decisions.

It is for the donor to decide which power(s) the attorney will have and whether this will be a general power (i.e. without restrictions), or limited to deal with a specific item or matter (e.g. to sell a house, deal with shares etc.).

An ordinary power of attorney can only be used while the donor has mental capacity. It will end if the donor loses mental capacity or revokes it, the attorney dies or loses mental capacity or when the specific task has been completed. An ordinary power of attorney does not need to be registered.

Lasting power of attorney

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is used to give authority to someone to act on your behalf when you no longer have mental capacity. It must, however, be signed whilst you still have mental capacity. There are two types of LPA: For property and financial affairs; and for health and welfare.

An LPA can only be used when the signed document has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The document can be registered by the donor or the attorney. A registration fee is payable to the Office of the Public Guardian; it can take up to three months to be processed.

LPA: Property and financial affairs

Allows the donor to make decisions concerning property, bank accounts and your financial affairs when you are unable to do so.

Once you've filled this form out please email it to wills@sableinternational.com

LPA: Health and welfare

This covers decisions about your healthcare and medical treatment, where you live as well as day-to-day decisions about your personal welfare, such as your diet, dress and daily routine.

Note: If a person has already lost mental capacity, it is not possible to create a power of attorney, whether ordinary or lasting. The only alternative is to make a formal application to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. This is a time-consuming process that has on-going costs and long-term implications for the court-appointed deputy. To avoid this, it is prudent to have a signed and witnessed LPA that can be registered at a later date when the need arises.

If you need an LPA for your health and welfare, complete this questionnaire and we will get right back to you.

Once you've filled this form out please email it to wills@sableinternational.com

Contact our wills team

Phone us: +44 (0) 20 7759 5531

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Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708
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t: +27 (0) 21 657 2120

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London
WC1A 1DG
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

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9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
Melbourne VIC 3141
t: +613 (0) 86 514 500

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The Lee Gardens
33 Hysan Avenue
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
t: +852 3959 8681

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