Being told by a relative that you are their chosen individual to enact their Power of Attorney for either Health and Wellbeing and/or Finance may sound like something that you hopefully will never have to use. But what if one day you are called into action?
Essentially there are two types of Power of Attorney:
- Health and Welfare – this incorporates decisions such as where and how your medical treatment takes place, life saving treatment such as do not resuscitate orders, when and how you are to be moved into a care home if necessary, any medical care that you may need and daily routines.
- Property and Finance – the decisions covered in this power of attorney include managing accounts, benefits, pensions and other income as well as paying bills and dealing with the sale of property.
It is important that when having Power of Attorney’s drawn up that you use a reputable Power of Attorney Cheltenham company such as beesandco.co.uk/our-services/wills-cheltenham/ to ensure that the documents are completed correctly and filed legally for when they may need to be used.
Should an individual find themselves in a situation where they no longer have ‘capacity’ to be able to make decisions for themselves the attorney’s within the Power of Attorney can act on their behalf. This loss of capacity may be permanent or temporary. In the case of temporary loss of capacity the individual can regain control of their finances and health decisions again. Once the individual has been confirmed as needing support from the Power of Attorney your rights kick in straight away.
This means that depending on whether or not you have full or partial control and whether you can act on both health and wellbeing and property and finance or just one you can start to make decisions that are in the best interest of the individual. It is important that you ensure that any decisions that you make are what the individual would have chosen for themselves if they still had capacity or are in the best interests considering the situation that they are currently in. In terms of selling property and life sustaining treatments you will often find that individuals will have already expressed their wishes in one way or another.
It is important that when asked to act as an attorney for an individual that you spend some time talking to the individual about what some of their wishes may be in the future.