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New power of attorney guide

edited 21 December 2011 at 3:19PM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
674 replies 132.6K views
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  • pphillipspphillips Forumite
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    Solicitors normally do home visits..The OPG Scotland website says you either need a solicitor or you can buy a DIY power of attorney pack from a stationary shop. If you use the online service your mum can certify the power of attorney of you can pay a solicitor to do it.
  • AirCooledHeavenAirCooledHeaven Forumite
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    Do I need to setup a LPA for my wife, and vice versa? Or does it not apply to spouses? Do spouses automatically have power of attorney?

    Thanks for clarification
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Do I need to setup a LPA for my wife, and vice versa? Or does it not apply to spouses? Do spouses automatically have power of attorney?

    Yes. We have each other and two adult children named as our attorneys.
  • Rosie1980Rosie1980 Forumite
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    Do I need to setup a LPA for my wife, and vice versa? Or does it not apply to spouses? Do spouses automatically have power of attorney?

    A spouse does not automatically have LPA, it is important to have an LPA in place whatever your financial set up. Some people wrongly assume that if they have joint accounts it's fine but actually in most banks' terms and conditions it states that if one of the joint account holders loses capacity the account will be frozen until Power of Attorney is granted. This potentially leaves the other account holder locked out of accessing their own money.
  • edited 21 April 2017 at 4:25PM
    PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
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    edited 21 April 2017 at 4:25PM
    Yes, absolutely essential that EVERY individual sets up their own power of attorney. Life events like strokes, heart attacks and dementia can overtake us all so its better to be prepared. Essential too to register the P of A as soon as signatures have been obtained . This process can take several weeks. If you leave it unregistered in a drawer somewhere until somebody has lost mental capacity, it will be too late to correct any mistakes which have occurred in drawing it up and the document will be useless.

    Also don't assume joint accounts will enable you to bypass the need for setting up a Pof A. If you have a joint accounts and one party loses mental capacity you will almost certainly need to dissolve the joint accounts so that each party has their individual income, pension, savings interest etc paid intoto a separate account in their individual name.

    The reason for this is that the mentally incapable person may need to be assessed for the need or otherwise to pay for residential care home funding on the basis of their own income and savings rather than on on any joint income and savings. . A spouse's income and assets cannot be taken into account when self funding or otherwise for a care home residency is assessed so separate accounts avoid any confusion.

    Some power of attorneys never need to be used, but how grateful you will be to your relatives (or they will be to you). if you have taken this step while you are all still in good health! . People grossly underestimate how stressful it can be trying to cope with the affairs of others when they haven't put their affairs in order.

    And while you're doing this, take the time and trouble to make a detailed list of all your bank nand saving account numbers, utility providers account numbers, pension providers and reference details etc and store it with your Power of Attorney document. Update it regularly. Spouses may well know this information but adult children or other attorneys probably will not. You will be surprised how often details can change. I do an annual update of this information and store it with my legal documents. I want my attorneys to have as trouble free a process as possible taking over my affairs if it's ever necessary. As they've been kind enough to take on this responsibility I reckon they deserve this consideration.
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  • silvercarsilvercar Forumite, Board Guide
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    I can see the need for a financial LPA, but the benefit of a health LPA seems less clear.

    Wouldn't family be automatically consulted on any major health decisions? Wouldn't medical experts act in the best interest of their patient?

    Can anyone outline situations where having a registered LPA would make a difference (I'm thinking of for my husband, where I am next of kin and for both of us where our adult children would be next of kin).
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  • edited 1 May 2017 at 10:26AM
    PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
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    edited 1 May 2017 at 10:26AM
    This would give you the preference to decide for example whether you went ahead with chemo treatment for cancer for example, or not. Your family might want you to go ahead to have a longer time with you but you might decide the the extra time it bought you would not be "quality" time.

    You might want to state that your life not be prolonged if you were in a persistent vegetative state. This is the time to state perhaps before you had a stroke which might leave you unable to communicate whether your preference would be to be located in a care home near your husband if he is still alive , or nearer your adult children if they lived some distance away or whether your doctor must be consulted first if it appears you were no longer able to live independently.

    There are medical situations where your doctors might recommend a certain course of action for your best interest but which if you still had mental capacity, you might not wish to pursue. Try to think what these circumstances might be and state your preferences. . This Pof A is designed to protect your interests if perhaps you develop dementia and are no longer able to articulate your own wishes.
  • edited 1 May 2017 at 12:54PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 1 May 2017 at 12:54PM
    Doctors do have an obligation to act in the person's best interest, but their perception of that may differ to that of the family or to the person's previously expressed wishes and preferences. There have been a couple of court of protection cases which have overturned the medics wish to operate to save life when it wasn't what the person wanted.
    Health and welfare power of attorney also gives more say in the care a relative gets and the choice of where they live, for example. (Funding permitting). Bottom line is who do you want to make those decisions for you?

    If there's no power of attorney there is a duty to consult family, but no more than that.
  • silvercarsilvercar Forumite, Board Guide
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    This would give you the preference to decide for example whether you went ahead with chemo treatment for cancer for example, or not. Your family might want you to go ahead to have a longer time with you but you might decide the the extra time it bought you would not be "quality" time.

    For the LPA to have been put in place, I would have to already be in a state where I am not able to make decisions for myself.
    If there's no power of attorney there is a duty to consult family, but I more than that.

    My quandary is that I know, from personal experience, that next of kin and immediately family are consulted without an LPA. So I am struggling to see what an LPA could add.

    I've filled in the forms and in family discussions we all agree our views on end of life care etc, so I had no need to add anything to those boxes where you could make your wishes known. I'm not sure I gain anything buy paying to register the forms.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debate House Prices & the Economy, House Buying, Renting & Selling, Mortgages and Endowments, In My Home incl DIY, Overseas Holidays & Student boards.
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  • edited 1 May 2017 at 1:02PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 1 May 2017 at 1:02PM
    Because without power of attorney they can consult and then discount family views if they demonstrate they have weighed up the burdens and benefits.
    Under the Mental Capacity Act, being next of kin in and of itself is meaningless in law, although many doctors tend to perceive this otherwise.

    Bottom line, if there is a possibility you need to go into a care home, who do you want to choose it, family or an overworked social worker? When you're there, who do you want to make decisions about any care and support needs (including who is allowed to visit you) - family or care home staff?
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