When is a Lasting Power of Attorney legally created?

In the very recent case of N & S v E & M (2014), the Court of Protection (the Court in England and Wales which has jurisdiction over the property, financial affairs and personal welfare of people who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves) has ruled that a Lasting Power of Attorney is only legally created when it is registered by the Office of the Public Guardian, and not on the date when it is signed by the person giving the power.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document in which you can appoint someone (or more than one person) to make decisions for you in respect of your property and financial affairs and also in respect of your health and welfare. For more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney, click here.

This recent case was of particular importance here as it established that a Lasting Power of Attorney signed by the person giving the power took precedence over a ‘living will’ that had been signed on the same day. A living will is a document which allows you to set out when and in what circumstances you wish to refuse medical treatment and/or life-sustaining treatment in the future. For more information about Wills and Living Wills, click here.

If you are concerned about any of the issues in this article, please call us for a free no-obligation discussion. We can advise you on which document is best suited to your requirements, dependant on your circumstances and particular wishes.

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