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For expert advice or representation with any legal issue affecting elderly or vulnerable people or their families, carers or Trustees; call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9056 or contact us online.
People who lack mental capacity need someone else to manage their legal, financial and health affairs. You can plan for the future by choosing someone to manage not only your finances and property should you become incapable of doing so, but also to make health and welfare decisions on your behalf.
Our team can help you do this by advising you on and drafting a Lasting Power of Attorney for you.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney; one which deals with health and welfare and one which deals with property and financial affairs.
The property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney gives you the opportunity to choose someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf about your property and financial affairs at a time when you are no longer or able or lack the mental capacity to take those decisions yourself. This can include paying your bills, collecting your income and benefit or selling your house, subject to any restrictions or conditions you might have included.
The Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare allows your attorneys to make decisions on your behalf about your personal welfare. This can include where you live, what clothes you wear or, subject to you giving express permission in the form to do so, whether you should have life-sustaining treatment.
If you do not give your attorneys authority to give or refuse consent to life-sustaining treatment you can make the decision to refuse life-sustaining treatment for yourself in advance by making a living Will. A living Will is a written statement of wishes about medical treatment which you do or do not want to have and which operates if you become terminally ill or incapacitated and cannot then give proper instructions. A living Will is also known as an advance medical decision or an advance directive.
If someone close to you loses the ability to make their own decisions it can be difficult to get the support you need from both medical and financial institutions. Our team can help you at this difficult time by discussing your options with you.
It may be that the person you care about had planned for the future by making an Enduring Power of Attorney and that now needs to be registered with the Court of Protection so that it can be used. Or they may have made a Lasting Power of Attorney appointing you as an attorney. We can advise you on the scope of your powers and the duties you are expected to perform and can help you with everything from filling in forms to preparing a statutory Will.
It may be that it is appropriate to apply to the Court of Protection to have someone, either yourself or a professional third party, appointed to make those decisions for them.
If there is a conflict between family members about what is best for the individual, we can help resolve the conflict. It may be that the conflict can be resolved in a meeting with a third party acting as a mediator or it might need the family members to go to court to ask a judge to make a decision on their behalf.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers is one of the UK's largest and well known law firms with offices in Newcastle, London, Manchester, Ashton-Under Lyne, Liverpool, Chester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Preston, Wakefield and Wrexham.