There are two different types of Powers of Attorney. One for dealing with Property and Affairs and one for dealing with Health and Welfare decisions. A Property and Affairs power of attorney deals with matters such as paying bills, dealing with bank accounts or selling property. A Health and Welfare power of attorney deals with matters including deciding which care home a person should go to, whether they should go on holiday and medical treatment. This type of power of attorney can only be used when the person has lost capacity.
A person does not have to have lost capacity for a Property and Affairs power of Attorney to be used. It can be very useful for people who have trouble getting out as they can ask their attorney to deal with matters on their behalf.
If you lose capacity, whether it be short term or long term, and a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is not in place, your next of kin do not have a say in terms of your treatment.
Advanced decisions are also known as living wills. They are usually put in place should there be no power of attorney. It allows you to make a decision now as to whether you wish to refuse a specific type of medical treatment in the future. It is so that your family and medical staff are aware of your wishes should you be unable to communicate them.
Should you wish to discuss having a power of attorney or advanced decision drafted, or would like us to register a previously drafted lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us.