A Power of Attorney (PoA) is a written document where you are authorising someone to make decisions on your behalf, this could be about your welfare and or your financial affairs (continuing PoA). The PoA document will show the people who are your attorneys and what their powers are and it will identify when their powers will begin. Having a PoA will allow your attorneys to make your decisions for you if you lose the capacity to do so, either by ill health or by accident. If you are 16 years of age or over you can instruct a PoA.
When making your PoA you must have capacity to understand what the implications are and the solicitor acting for you will be able to judge if you can proceed with the application. However if you do not have a PoA and you lose the capacity to make your own decisions to get authority to act on your behalf your family and friends will have to go to court to apply for a guardianship which involves an application to court and is extremely costly. If you do not have the PoA documents no body has the legal right to make your decisions.
Anyone over the age of 16 years can be an attorney but if they are currently classed as bankrupt they cannot act on your behalf. Once you have signed your PoA document we will then send it off to The Office of Public Guardian (OPG) to be registered. Once this has been done we will receive an authentic copy of the document you signed along with a certificate of the PoA which will be sent out to you and the signed document will be kept in our fireproof safe. Once you activate your PoA your attorney/s will have the duty of keeping records of all their actions.