It is a document, where you appoint people to act in your interests if you are not able to do so yourself (i.e you are in an accident).
There are a number of different types of power of attorney:
These both come into effect if you lose mental capacity.
In this article the Lasting Power of Attorney is the main focus as this becomes more relevant as you age.
Before the dawn of covid this was more commonly completed as people got older, but as we have seen over the last 2 years, sudden illness can befall anyone and the having one in place will:
Although there is no harm in having a power of attorney set up well in advance of needing it, you also do not want to have the cost and administration time of changing it, if you change your power of attorney appointee, therefore listed below are the life events that should trigger you to do complete one.
As soon as you have any assets which could include; property, savings, pension, jewellery, car, art, especially if you share a home or bills with someone and you do not have joint accounts.
Do it whilst you are healthy or at the beginning of a diagnoses, when you are very ill it is harder and maybe impossible, if you are deemed not to have mental capacity. During the pandemic the time it had started to take to get a register power of attorney was over 20 weeks, this is a lot of time to be left unable to access assets or advise on medical procedures.
Government guidelines on how to be an attorney
Guide to assessing mental capacity