Power of Attorney (POA)
A Notary Public is specialised in drafting and/or certifying Powers of Attorney. Where a person is unable to deal with their own affairs, a Power of Attorney allows individuals to give authority to another to carry out specific or general legal tasks on their behalf. For example, where a person owns a plot of land or property abroad and is unable to carry out dealings (for example a sale) whilst outside of the country, he/she can give a family member (or other third party) authority, by way of a Power of Attorney to deal with those affairs on his/her behalf.
Notaries are primarily concerned with drafting and or certifying documents which give Powers of Attorney to people who are based abroad; however, they can also certify and draft Power of Attorney documents that can be used in England and Wales too.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
We at South London Notaries can also assist you in the creation of Lasting Powers of Attorney. These are documents which are valid in England and Wales and are registered centrally at the Office of the Public Guardian.
What’s the difference between an LPA and POA?
A normal Power of Attorney is valid so long as the person giving the authority has mental capacity and is not suffering from any mental illness or is in hospital unable to make decisions for themselves. If this happens, the Power of Attorney no longer carries any weight. Only a Lasting Power of Attorney created whilst the individual had mental capacity will be valid as it “lasts” even if the individual later loses the capacity to make decisions for themselves.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney available: one that deals with someone’s health and welfare and the other deals with the individual’s property and finances. An example of when a Lasting Power of Attorney would be useful would be where you may have an elderly relative who has been diagnosed with an illness which you anticipate will eventually worsen leaving them mentally ill or bedbound and unable to make decisions for themselves. The Lasting Power of Attorney would give one the power to make decisions on the relatives health and medical care as well as giving one the power to use the relatives finances to arrange care for them (at nursing homes etc).
If you would like to know more information about Powers of Attorney and how they may be of use to you, please do not hesitate to contact us. In cases of Lasting Powers of Attorney we can also make home visits.