Anyone aged 18 or over with the capacity to do so can make a Lasting Power of Attorney appointing one or more attorneys to make decisions on their behalf.
Why do I need Powers of Attorney?
Becoming unable to manage your own affairs can happen at any stage in life. An accident, physical ill health or becoming mentally incapable can make paying bills, managing a budget or making important decisions difficult, stressful and, in some cases, impossible. Who will manage your bank accounts or pay your bills if you can’t? Plan for the future to ensure someone you trust manages your affairs – without a Power of Attorney it may not be the family member or friend you wish it to be.
You can choose anyone you trust to act as your attorney provided they are over 18 and not bankrupt when they sign the form. You can appoint more than one person to act. You can also appoint replacement attorneys. If you appoint more than one person, you can choose whether they can act together or together and independently. You can state that your attorneys must act together for some decisions but for others they can act independently. Your attorneys must follow the principles set out in the Mental Capacity Act when they are making decisions or acting on your behalf. They must always act in your best interest and consider your needs and wishes as far as possible. When possible, attorneys should take all practical and appropriate steps to help the donor make the particular decision. An attorney must consider the donor’s past and present wishes.
The attorneys must not take advantage of the donor’s position to gain any benefit for themselves. They must keep any entrusted money and property separate from their own and from that of other people and they must keep accounts of any dealings on the donor’s behalf.