Looking to the future
Being a carer may mean looking after more than just someone’s physical and emotional needs, if not now, then in the future.
If you’re looking after someone, they may be able to manage their own money, but often people become less able to do this over time. Setting up power of attorney can help you both, as you know there is a plan in place for the future, in case the person you care for can no longer do it themselves.
Lasting power of attorney
There are two types of power of attorney, which enble you to act on behalf of the person you are caring for. They need to be capable of looking after their affairs when the arrangement is set up, and it lies unactivated until, and if, a time comes when they can longer manage this themselves, when they ‘lack mental capacity’.
Power of attorney for property and financial affairs
If you are the ‘attorney’, you will be able to act on behalf of the person who has nominated you. Either it is demonstrated medically that they can no longer look after their own money, or they could decide they no longer wish to.
Power of attorney for health and welfare
This works the same way, and enables the attorney to make medical decisions on someone’s behalf, if they can no longer do this themselves.
These can be set up at any stage in life. It can be useful to any of us to have this in place, so that you know someone will look after your affairs if you could no longer do so, through accident or illness. It can also be valuable to have talked to your family about your future plans. These can be included in the attorney’s instructions, or they can just make sure they understand the person’s wishes about, for example, their longer-term health treatment.
There is full information on the government’s webpage about power of attorney.
The process costs (2019) £82.00 (although there are exemptions and reductions under some circumstances) and you can handle the paperwork yourself, but many people like to do it through a solicitor, which will cost more.
Let us help you
Our staff understand the process, so let us help. Call us on 0303 040 1234 or email CarerSupport@actionforcarers.org.uk. You can also text us (SMS) on 07714 075993.