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What is the difference between an Lasting power of attorney, Power of attorney, and Ordinary power of attorney?

Confused about the different types of power of attorney? Graysons’ team of power of attorney solicitors in Sheffield & Chesterfield explain the key differences.

Last updated on December 28th, 2020 at 08:32 pm

What is a lasting power of attorney, a power of attorney, and an ordinary power of attorney?

A Lasting power of attorney, a power of attorney, and an ordinary power of attorney are all legal documents appointing someone on your behalf to manage your affairs if you are not able to do so for yourself. 

The scope of a lasting power of attorney, a power of attorney, and an ordinary power of attorney differ, and it is therefore crucial that you have the right a power of attorney document in place. 

Here, Graysons’ team of lasting power of attorney solicitors in Sheffield and Chesterfield and explain the different types of legal power of attorney documents.

What is the difference between a lasting power of attorney, an ordinary power of attorney, and a power of attorney? 

Power of attorney is a legal document that gives another person the right to make decisions on your behalf. There are different types of powers of attorneys. The two most common powers of attorney are lasting power of attorney, sometimes referred to as enduring power of attorney, and ordinary power of attorney, which is often referred to as limited power of attorney. Keep on reading to find out the key differences between these two different types of power of attorney. 

What is an ordinary power of attorney? 

An ordinary power of attorney is sometimes referred to as a limited power of attorney. This legal document gives your appointed agent permission to manage your financial affairs for a temporary period. It should not be used if you have lost mental capacity. 

An ordinary power of attorney may be used, for example, if you are abroad for an extended period and need someone to manage your financial affairs at home, or you have a physical illness and want someone to manage your finances while you focus on recovery. 

You can manage the scope of an ordinary power of attorney, including its time-period and the activities it covers. For example, it may give your appointed agent or attorney the authority to handle all your financial affairs, or it may give them authority to manage only certain aspects – such as paying bills. It is therefore essential that a power of attorney is drawn up by an experienced and professional power of attorney solicitor, such as the team of legal experts at Graysons.

What is a lasting power of attorney?

A lasting power of attorney, sometimes known as an enduring power of attorney, is a legal document that gives your appointed agent the power to manage your affairs should you lose mental capacity. 

There may be various reasons for loss of mental capacity. For example, it might be caused by a debilitating health condition such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, a stroke, by a severe accident that causes significant brain damage, through alcohol or drug misuse, or because of mental health problems. 

A lasting power of attorney is the most common form of power of attorney and can be used as soon as the power of attorney document is registered. Many people opt to set up a power of attorney when they write their will, choosing someone they trust as their attorney. This gives peace of mind that their affairs will be managed should they lose mental capacity. 

It is important to note that a lasting power of attorney can be used as soon as it has been registered, even if you are still able to make decisions for yourself. If you don’t want your elected agent or attorney to make decisions about your affairs as soon as the legal document is registered it is important that your lasting power of attorney clearly states this, highlighting that it should only come into effect once mental capacity has been lost. Working with an experienced power of attorney solicitor, such as Graysons’ team of Sheffield and Chesterfield solicitors will be able to help you with the wording and advise accordingly.

There are two types of lasting power of attorney, one designed to cover property and financial affairs, and the other to cover health and welfare. You can choose to make just one, or both at the same time. 

What is a lasting power of attorney for property and financial affairs? 

A lasting power of attorney for property and financial affairs gives your appointed attorney permission to make decisions about your property and finances. This may include managing your finances, including your bank accounts and any investments you may have, handling any welfare benefits that you may be entitled to, buying or selling property you own, managing any debts, paying your bills, making limited monetary gifts, and dealing with any tax that may be due.  

You can draw up a property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney to give your chosen agent or attorney permission to handle all your financial matters or limit them to just managing certain aspects. It is important, therefore, that you work with an experienced power of attorney solicitor, such as Graysons’ team of solicitors in Sheffield and Chesterfield. They will ensure that your lasting power of attorney is correctly worded to ensure your wishes are adhered to.

What is a health and welfare lasting power of attorney? 

A health and welfare lasting power of attorney gives you appointed agent or attorney the authority to make decisions about your health and welfare. This may include decisions about your day-to-day care, any medical treatment, where you live, including whether you should go into a care home, what contact you should have with certain people, handling any personal correspondence, and managing social activities. 

Just like a property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney, you can make a health and welfare lasting power of attorney to deal with all aspects of your personal welfare or limit it to just certain elements. It is essential that the wording is precise if you want to limit your health and welfare lasting power of attorney to only certain aspects of your welfare. Working with an experienced power of attorney solicitor, such as Graysons’ team of Sheffield and Chesterfield solicitors will ensure your lasting power of attorney is accurately worded to reflect your wishes.

A health and welfare lasting power of attorney must be registered before it can be used. However, it cannot be used until the person who made it has lost the mental capacity to make decisions about their personal welfare. 

When should I make a lasting power of attorney? 

You can only set up a lasting power of attorney while you have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. Many people opt to make a lasting power of attorney when they write their will, giving them peace of mind that their affairs will be handled by someone that they trust, should they lose the ability to manage things themselves.

If you lose mental capacity and do not have a lasting power of attorney in place, then your loved ones will have to apply to the courts to get permission to manage your affairs, causing delay and costing time and money, at a stressful and difficult time. 

Graysons’ team of Sheffield and Chesterfield solicitors offer a wide range of legal services, including will writing and putting in place a lasting power of attorney that accurately reflects your wishes.

How do I register a lasting power of attorney? 

A lasting power of attorney document must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. You can register the lasting power of attorney yourself, or your named agent or attorney can register it on your behalf. 

It takes up to 10 weeks for a lasting power of attorney to be registered, and it is important that the documents are accurately completed. Mistakes on legal documents can not only be costly, but they will also delay the registration of the lasting power of attorney. Graysons’ team of power of attorney solicitors in Sheffield and Chesterfield will register your lasting power of attorney documents on your behalf. 

How can Graysonspower of attorney solicitors in Sheffield and Chesterfield help me? 

Graysons’ power of attorney solicitors in Sheffield and Chesterfield are experts in all forms of power of attorney. They will be able to ensure that any power of attorney you choose to set up reflects your wishes and requirements. They will be able to accurately complete the legal documents to not only ensure your wishes are adhered to but also to prevent the validity of your power of attorney being challenged. If you want to create a power of attorney, then contact our team of power of attorney solicitors today. 

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