Belt and Braces for Power of Attorney

 20 May 2020
Belt and Braces for Power of Attorney

The demand for Lasting Power of Attorney has never been greater

More and more people are looking to set up Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) with the threat of Covid-19 being ever present. In particular, those who form part of the most at risk groups and so are having to self-isolate, and who may need to rely on friends and family members to act on their behalf in regards to their finances.

Unfortunately, the current timing of eight to ten weeks to get a Lasting Power of Attorney registered is not helping matters and the likelihood that this timeline will increase because of the pandemic is pretty much a certainty.

So, what can we do to help?

The best way we can help you is to offer our “BELT & BRACES” strategy by drafting a second GENERAL (or Ordinary) Power of Attorney at the same time as taking instruction for your Lasting Powers of Attorney, which provides you with this protection whilst waiting for the LPA to be registered and returned by the OPG (Office of Public Guardian). This means you can benefit from being able to provide Attorneys with the authority to act on your behalf immediately.

Contact us to discuss how Panthera Estate Planning can help

What does a General Power of Attorney do for you?

A General (Ordinary) Power of Attorney allows one or more person, known as the attorney(s), to make financial decisions on your behalf. It's only valid while you still have the mental capacity to make your own decisions.

It is useful when:

  • You need someone to act for you for a temporary period, such as when on holiday or in hospital or currently having to self-isolate.
  • You are unable to get out and about to the bank or post office and want someone to be able to access your account(s) for you.
  • You want someone to act for you while still able to supervise their actions.

Witnessing

A General Power of Attorney will need to be signed by the donor in the presence of an independent witness (NOT an attorney) such as a friend, neighbour or relative.

This poses certain difficulties in the current environment but whilst we wait for the law to change there are many suggestions being made to work around this and remain compliant such as having documents witnessed by a friend or neighbour:

  • over the garden fence
  • through a window

The point is, however this is achieved as long as everyone can see everyone else, then the document is valid.

Watch our video to help understand how a Lasting Power of Attorney can help. 

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I have no reservations about Panthera - they appear to be a forward thinking company making life for the client a pleasure to deal with. I would thoroughly recommend them to anyone who needs sound professional advice concerning Estate Planning.

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