Power of Attorney
With Power of Attorney in place, someone you trust will be permitted to make important financial decisions on your behalf.
In addition to preparing a valid Will, you should consider making arrangements to ensure your finances are well looked after in the event that you lose mental capacity. A Power of Attorney is a document that enables you to appoint a person of your choosing (your Attorney) to make financial decisions on your behalf.
Our Power of Attorney lawyers understand the importance of permitting someone else to manage your finances and property. That is why we are here to assess your circumstances and provide tailored support that ensures your affairs will be managed in accordance with your wishes.
Appointing a Power of Attorney could be one of the most critical acts you ever do, placing your hard-earned Estate in the hands of the person you choose to appoint as your Attorney. Working with an experienced lawyer will ensure that:
- You fully comprehend all potential outcomes involved in empowering someone to take charge of your financial decisions
- The document clearly and accurately expresses your intentions
- All technical aspects of the document are properly attended to
- Your final document has been executed and witnessed correctly
- You receive appropriate legal advice if you are making an Enduring Power of Attorney.
At Rankin Ellison, we will discuss your options, advise you and implement your instructions, ensuring that you properly and effectively appoint someone as your Attorney.
Our expert solicitors will prepare a Power of Attorney, discuss your circumstances with you and advise you whether to make the appointment an Enduring Power of Attorney or a General Power of Attorney. Get in touch with Rankin Ellison Lawyers today for further information.
A General Power of Attorney is a document that appoints a chosen person (Attorney) to make financial decisions on your behalf whilst you maintain full mental capacity. This type of Power of Attorney is recommended for temporary periods like travelling, illnesses or after accidents.
Enduring Power of Attorney is legally valid throughout your lifetime, even when you no longer have full mental capacity. This type of Power of Attorney is appropriate for all people to take account of the possibility of unforeseen life events such as long-term incapacitation.
To make a valid Power of Attorney, you must be at least 18 years old and have sound memory and understanding.
Your Attorney must be someone who you trust completely as they will have unfettered power to deal with your money and property. Ideally you would select a spouse, sibling or adult child or children, someone who you know will always put your interests above their own.
You can appoint multiple Attorneys if desired, and specify whether they are permitted to make decisions together or independently.
You must have full mental capacity in order to make a Power of Attorney. Therefore, we recommend appointing your Power of Attorney now, before it is too late.
No-one knows what the future holds for them and unexpected events can happen at any time. If you experience an event that prevents you from being able to make autonomous decisions, it will be too late.
You can revoke a Power of Attorney at any time, provided that you still have full mental capacity. If you lose capacity, you are unable to revoke an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Your Attorney is legally obliged to act in your best interests. Therefore, they:
- Must act bona fide in your best interests
- Must keep their finances separate and independent from yours
- Must maintain proper records of all transactions relevant to your finances
- Not use your assets for any other purpose than supporting you or persons you specifically nominate. For example, they are not permitted to purchase gifts for anyone without your authorisation
You can include a set of conditions or restrictions for your Attorney to follow. A solicitor can confirm you have worded these terms in a manner that ensures your Attorney is legally obliged to respect your wishes.
You are permitted to change your Power of Attorney whenever you wish provided you have full mental capacity.
Additionally, if your friends and family are concerned that your Attorney is abusing their position, neglecting their responsibilities or exploiting you, they can take legal action to have the Power of Attorney set aside.
Contact us onor 02 8297 5900.