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What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney allows a trusted person, named in a document, to act on a person’s behalf, and depending on the type of Power of Attorney, to carry out their wishes.

The most common types of attorney are:

General Powers of Attorney

This gives another person the power to act on your behalf and in your name, by producing a Power of Attorney document.  This type of document is only valid providing you are of sound mind and if you lose your mental capacity at a later stage, the document will no longer be valid.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

These are the best ways of appointing a decision maker to act on your behalf in the event of a loss of mental capacity.

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

Since 1st October 2007 it has not been possible to create a new EPA, however those created before 1st October 2007 remain valid. This type of attorney is used where a person becomes mentally incapacitated and the person that you appointed can act on your behalf.

Disputing a Power of Attorney

Disputes are increasing over the care of a person’s health and finances where a Power of Attorney is involved.

You may wish to dispute a Power of Attorney if you consider the power has been granted to the wrong person or the individual did not have the necessary capacity to make the power of attorney. You may also have concerns that an attorney’s actions are not in the best interests of the individual. A Power of Attorney signed as a result of fraud or undue influence is void.

Alternatively you may be the attorney that is facing the challenge in respect of your actions.

It is important that you seek specialist advice before any action is taken. The formalities of the court can be quite complex.  If you were to be involved in a dispute, it is best to seek legal advice where a specialist solicitor will liaise with The Court of Protection, which is the branch of the court which deals with the affairs of people who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves.

If you require advice about Powers of Attorney our specialist probate department will be happy to assist. Contact our team of specialist litigation lawyers to speak with someone today.