The need for Lasting Powers of Attorney has never been greater.
The threat of Covid-19 being ever present, particularly for those in the most at-risk groups and so having to self-isolate. You may need to rely on friends and family members to act on your behalf in regard to your finances.
Setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) has never been more crucial.
We have seen an increase in enquiries but the current timing of eight to ten weeks to get a Lasting Power of Attorney registered is not helping matters for our clients and the likelihood is that this timeline will increase because of the pandemic is pretty much a certainty.
So, what can we do to help?
The best way we can help you would be to “DOUBLE UP” by drafting a second GENERAL (or Ordinary) Power of Attorney for you, at the same time, whilst waiting for the LPA to be registered. This will be FREE OF CHARGE during the current pandemic.
This means that that you can benefit from being able to provide your attorneys with the authority to act on your behalf immediately, whilst you wait for the LPA to be registered and returned from the Office of the Public Guardian.
What does a General Power of Attorney do for you?
A General (Ordinary) Power of Attorney allows one or more person, known as the attorney(s), to make financial decisions on your behalf. It’s only valid while they still have the mental capacity to make their own decisions.
It is useful when:
- You need someone to act for you for a temporary period, such as when on holiday or in hospital or currently having to self-isolate.
- You are unable to get out and about to the bank or post office and want someone to be able to access your account(s) for you.
- They want someone to act for them while still able to supervise their actions.
A General Power of Attorney will need to be signed by the donor in the presence of an independent witness (NOT an attorney) such as a friend, neighbour or relative.
This poses certain difficulties in the current environment but whilst we wait for the law to change there are many suggestions being made to work around this and remain compliant such as having documents witnessed by a friend or neighbour:
- over the garden fence
- through a window
The point is, however this is achieved, as long as everyone can see everyone else, then the document is valid.