An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document which provides for a situation where you are too unwell to look after your own legal affairs. In this document you name somebody who you trust to act on your behalf in that situation. The person you appoint is called your “attorney”.
Making this documents means you are prepared for situations where you are ill or where you have an accident. Otherwise the court may appoint somebody to look after your legal affairs and this might not be the person you would choose.
The procedure involves you appointing one or more people (generally two) to act on your behalf should you become unwell. You must give notice to two other people (one of whom must be your spouse if they are not your attorney) that you have signed the document. This is to prevent anybody being forced into signing such a document. Your solicitor and your GP must also sign a certificate saying that they felt that at the time you were capable of understanding the document.
The document is held by your solicitor and if you ever become unwell, it is registered in the High Court. It cannot be used until then.
We would recommend to all of our clients that they sign Enduring Powers of Attorney. We have experienced many cases in the past where a client becomes unwell and their legal affairs become deadlocked unless they are made a Ward of Court.
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