With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic many people are understandably concerned about getting documents in place to allow someone else to make decisions on their behalf and manage their financial affairs.
With many vulnerable people currently being advised to self-isolate this means having an attorney to carry out certain tasks on their behalf is incredibly useful.
Normally when we think of powers of attorney we think of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPAs). These documents allow a donor (you) to appoint attorneys to make decisions on your behalf should you lose the capacity to make your own decisions. They can be made to appoint someone to make decisions about health and welfare as well as property and financial affairs. In the case of managing financial affairs an LPA can also be used while you still have capacity to make your own decisions, making them useful for someone who has mental capacity but maybe still needs a bit of extra support.
General Powers of Attorney (GPAs) are very different. The donor (you) appoint someone (attorney) to manage your financial affairs and is only valid while you have mental capacity. As soon as capacity is lost the GPA is no longer useable and your attorney can’t make any more decisions for you.
So why choose a General Power of Attorney right now?
At the moment LPA applications are progressing quite slowly, as like many companies right now they are running on reduced staff. This means that it’s taking longer to get an LPA registered.
For a person who needs someone to make decisions for them right away a GPA can be a great alternative currently. There is no registration requirement, so the document is ready to use as soon as it has been properly signed.
The GPA is executed as a deed poll by you and the witness. The witness must be over 18, have capacity, and can’t themselves be a party to the deed.
This means that someone else in the household could act as the witness, allowing the document to be made without placing anyone at any risk.
What this doesn’t mean…
This doesn’t mean that LPAs should be forgotten about altogether. Since a GPA ends if the donor loses capacity it is still best to make sure that steps are being taken to get an LPA put in place as soon as it’s possible to do so
16 June 2020
The views expressed in this blog do not in any way constitute advice and are specific to the date noted. As time passes the facts can change and readers should consult their adviser for up to date advice on any matters covered within the blog. Invest Southwest offers an initial review, which is free of charge, however long it takes. From this we will be able to confirm how we can help and give you an opportunity to decide if you would like us to. Thereafter, we will provide you with detailed recommendations and exact costs. Please note that we promise not to levy any kind of fee unless we can demonstrate a benefit to you.