Managing someone else’s affairs with a Power of Attorney

If you have been appointed as an attorney for a family member of friend, you may be reaching the stage where you feel you need to start acting in your role as an attorney. This could be for a number of different reasons such as the person no longer being mobile and able to actively manage their affairs or the person no longer having the ability to weigh up and make decisions about their own affairs.

If this is the case, you will need to establish what you need to do to start acting as an attorney.

With an Enduring Power of Attorney:

You may have been appointed as an attorney for someone under an Enduring Power of Attorney. Since 1 October 2007 it has not been possible to create a new Enduring Power of Attorney however, for anyone who made one prior to that date, a valid Enduring Power of Attorney can still be used.

Under an Enduring Power of Attorney, as an attorney you have the power to make decisions and manage the person’s property and financial affairs. Unlike the new Lasting Power of Attorney (please see below), the EPA can be used prior to being registered providing the person still has capacity to manage their own finances and has given you permission to use the document.

If you have to reason to believe the person has, or is losing, the ability to make decisions regarding their own financial affairs, you have a legal obligation to register the document. We can guide you through the registration process, including notifying the relevant family members (which should be done as part of the application process) and advise you on costs, timescales and procedure.

We can also offer advice on the next steps once the Enduring Power of Attorney has been registered.

With a Lasting Power of Attorney:

If you have been appointed an attorney for someone under a Lasting Power of Attorney, the document must be registered before it can be used. Most people register the Lasting Power of Attorney at the same time as preparing the document however if you find yourself in a position whereby the Lasting Power of Attorney has been prepared and signed but not registered (and the person can no longer register the document themselves) we can guide you through the registration process.

It may be the case that the Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered but you are not sure what you need to do now the document is to be used. We can offer guidance on the next steps and your duties as an attorney.

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