What Are The Different Types of Power of Attorney?
Power of attorney is something that can be applied for if someone no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. There are a number of different types of power of attorney. These include ordinary power of attorney, lasting power of attorney, and enduring power of attorney.
Ordinary power of attorney means that one or more people – called the attorney – is allowed to make financial decisions on behalf of someone else (known as the donor). However, it is only valid whilst the person for whom the person or people will act as attorney is still able to make those decisions. They are often set up for a temporary period, which could be due to a hospital stay, or even a holiday. You may wish to set one up if you find it difficult to get to the bank yourself, and you want someone else to be able to access your account for you. But you can limit the power of attorney so that only certain aspects of your financial life can be in their remit. They might be able to pay your bills for you, but not withdraw money, for example.
If there will be a time when the person for whom the attorney is acting might no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions (such as if they have Alzheimer’s), then a lasting power of attorney would be a better idea.
The lasting power of attorney comes in two forms. The first is for financial matters, and the second is for health and care. The LPA for financial decisions can cover buying and selling property, ensuring that the mortgage is paid, making investments, paying bills, and arranging property repairs. This can be restricted, or the attorney can be allowed to make all decisions for you. The attorney must keep their money separate from yours, and keep detailed accounts. These details should be either sent to a solicitor, or to a family member.
LPA for health decisions can cover deciding where you should live and what your medical care should be. It could even dictate what you should eat, who you can have contact with, and what social activities you might take part in. You can also give special permission for your attorney to make decisions about life-saving treatment.
Enduring power of attorney is similar to lasting power of attorney, but, whereas the lasting power of attorney needs to be registered with a court, the enduring power of attorney does not, until the donor lacks mental capacity.