It is wise to plan ahead. If one day you cannot make decisions for yourself concerning financial and health matters, you will have someone you trust on hand to act on your behalf. As such, Prestige Tax and Trust Services asks: when does Lasting Power of Attorney take effect?
Lasting Power of Attorney
At some point in your life, you may find that you are no longer able to manage your personal or financial affairs. This is why it is a good idea to create a Lasting Power of Attorney now. This is a legal document which allows you to appoint one or more people (attorneys) to make decisions on your behalf, so you will have someone you trust to act in your best interests.
In order to make a Lasting Power of Attorney, you need to download and complete two documents. These are the ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ form and the registration form, which can both be found online. Then you must pay a registration fee of £110 and submit your forms to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This last step is vital, as you must register a Lasting Power of Attorney, a process which usually takes around eight to ten weeks, for it to be legally binding.
At this point we should ask, when can the person you appoint start using the Lasting Power of Attorney? All Lasting Powers of Attorney must be registered with the OPG before they can be used. Also, the date your attorney can begin making decisions on your behalf depends on whether they are a ‘property and financial affairs attorney’ or a ‘health and welfare’ attorney.
The date your financial and personal affairs attorney can start making decisions concerning your money and property is entirely up to you. However, if you lack the mental capacity to make these decisions, the powers of your financial and personal affairs attorney automatically come into effect. Meanwhile, your health and welfare attorney’s powers only come into effect when you lack the mental capacity to make decisions concerning these matters on your own behalf.
It is important to remember that even if you lack the mental capacity to make decisions at a certain time, you may be able to make them another time. You may also have the mental capacity to make decisions concerning other things. Therefore, your attorney is obligated to help you make decisions where you have the mental capacity to do so. It is advisable for your attorney to talk to other people, including your doctor if applicable, to determine your ability to make financial and personal decisions.
Prestige Tax and Trust Services
Lasting Power of Attorney law can be complex. It is advisable to seek expert help to ensure that you can make and register a Lasting Power of Attorney effectively, ensuring your personal interests are protected when you no longer possesses the mental capacity to make your own decisions. Prestige Tax and Trust Services can advise you on Lasting Power of Attorney matters, so you can ensure you are ready to take on whatever life throws at you.