The power of attorney is a legal term which refers to the allocation of decision making and authority to a person on behalf of an incapacitated individual.
The following UK government website links to information regarding power of attorney:
On this website, to summarise, one must fill out an LPA (legal power of attorney) form. You must be over 18 and agree to allow others to make a decision for you if you reach the stage where you are incapable of making financial or healthcare decisions for yourself. You can choose whether to complete a document which refers to health and welfare, property and financial affairs, or both.
According to the government website, there is a simple 3 step process as follows:
How to make a lasting power of attorney
Why make a power of attorney?
If you are diagnosed with dementia and need to make preparations for someone you trust to look after your estate and care, then it makes sense to plan in advance. It might only need to be a temporary arrangement whilst you visit hospital.
There are two types of power of attorney- Ordinary and lasting
Ordinary power of attorney means allowing someone to make decisions for you while you are still corpus mentis. This type of agreement is only legal while one is of sound mind, and allows one to limit the power of the person making decisions on your behalf.
Lasting power of attorney refers to giving someone full power of your affairs once you are unable to do so for yourself.
It is important to note that power of attorney should be a last case scenario and if possible it is always best to keep control of one’s own finances and situation.
Age UK advises that the following areas can be of benefit and may limit the need for outside help. You ought to consider whether these simple measures can help you to avoid relying on someone else if it is unnecessary:
• Use a pre-paid card. If you don’t want to give someone access to your bank account, you can use a pre-paid card to control the amount you give them to spend for you. You can buy one online or over the telephone and put money on it using a local PayPoint, at Post Offices, online, by cheque or bank transfer.
• Use gift vouchers or gift cards to allow others to shop on your behalf. These can often be purchased over the telephone or online.
• Set up a standing order with your bank to pay someone a set amount. This is useful if someone regularly does your shopping for you or pays your bills.
• Set up direct debits. Direct debits are a way to pay bills directly from your bank account, to utility companies for example. The company collects what you owe them, but they must tell you how much in advance.
• Change your bank account into a joint account by adding the name of someone you trust. You can restrict the account so that it’s only used for cheques, or ask the bank to set up a ‘both mandate’ which means any cheques paid out of your account must be signed by both of you. If you have a Post Office account, you can apply for someone to have permanent access.