You probably know that a Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to appoint people you trust to act on your behalf. There are two versions: Property and Finances which can be used as soon as it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and Health and Welfare which, whilst still need to be registered, can only be used if you lose mental capacity to make welfare decisions for yourself.
What seems to be less well known is that both Powers of Attorney have the option for you to add your own preferences and instructions.
Preferences are statements that you would like your attorneys (the person/people you nominate to act for you) to consider when making decisions on your behalf. Instructions have more force, because your attorneys MUST follow them as they are legally binding.
Both give you the opportunity to remind your attorneys of things that are important to you, which can be reassuring and helpful to you and them – and to professionals that may become involved in your care – when making decisions on your behalf.
These statements really are personal to YOU – here are just a sample of ones we have included for clients in recent weeks:
“I want my attorneys to take all reasonable steps to ensure that if I need care, this is provided in my own home rather than a care home”
“I want anyone providing care to me to ensure that I always look presentable and that I am wearing my glasses”
“If I do need to go into a care home, I instruct my attorneys to find one with a Catholic ethos or ensure that I can continue to receive visits from a representative of the Catholic church”
“I instruct my attorneys to ensure that if I am unable to, they make provision for my dog and take all steps to ensure that he remains with me”
If you are thinking of making of making a Power of Attorney (and we all should!), make it personal and make it YOURS.
If you have any queries regarding Powers of Attorney or would like to make one, call our team on 01926 354704 or come and see us at one of our legal clinics that we run in conjunction with Age UK. Click here for details of locations.