Powers of Attorney

Family friends of ours, (man and wife) drew up Powers of Attorney in 2006. And now they have read about a new enduring Power of Attorney and are starting to panic. And asked me (as I work in the Care industry) if their original documents will still be valid? Well I have no legal experience or knowledge whatsoever, but from the research I made, I have found out the following and thought it might be helpful to share it with you. It appears that the existing powers of attorney will still be valid since they were signed before October 2007. And if signed for financial matters, this means your attorneys can still act for you if you can no longer make decisions for yourself. However, apparently if you signed a non-enduring power of attorney, this would NOT allow your attorneys to act after you lose capacity and you would need a new-style lasting version. It appears there are 2 types of lasting power of attorney – one is for property and finances, and the one is for welfare and care. At this point, I strongly recommend that you get specialist advice to help take a look at all the options available to you and ensure that all the forms are correctly set up. I found the following webpage which provides more help and information on Powers of Attorney in England and Wales via: www. justice.gov.uk/about/opg. This page tells you that it is different in Scotland, whereby Powers of Attorney created before April 2001 are still valid where ‘continuing’, rather than enduring powers are used. In Scotland the webpage is: www.publicguardian-scotland.gov.uk.

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