Wills and succession planning

Powers of attorney

Our private client lawyers help clients put in place lasting powers of attorney (to cover both property and financial affairs, and health and welfare decisions), general powers of attorney, trustee powers of attorney and powers of attorney to give authority to carry out specific functions.

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Our team is well versed in all types of power of attorney, which enable you to appoint someone to take action for you in the event that you can't. 

A power of attorney is a legal document by which one person (the donor) authorises another (the attorney) to do certain things on his or her behalf.

There is a range of powers of attorney which are suited to different situations.  These broadly fall into the following categories:

  • ordinary power of attorney - this permits an attorney to do anything which a donor could lawfully do by an attorney.  This can be general or limited to more specific decisions.  An ordinary power of attorney automatically comes to an end if the donor loses mental capacity.
  • trustee power of attorney - a trustee power of attorney is required for decisions that a donor makes in his or her capacity of trustee. This cannot last for more than 12 months but it can be renewed every year.
  • enduring power of attorney (EPA) - the key feature of an EPA was that it remained in force (i.e. endured) if the donor lost mental capacity.  From 1 October 2007, EPAs were replaced by lasting powers of attorney but EPAs in place before that time continue to be valid.
  • lasting power of attorney (LPA) - the key feature of a LPA is that they continue (i.e. last) in the event of mental incapacity.  There are two types of LPAs: one for health and welfare and one for property and financial affairs. 

We are able to draft bespoke ordinary and trustee powers of attorney and advise on all aspects of LPAs, including specific preferences and instructions and arranging registration with the Office of the Public Guardian.

We also advise on the interaction between LPAs and advance decisions, a separate document by which a person can make written directives regarding medical care and treatment in the event they are unable to communicate their wishes themselves.

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