14 – How to speak to loved ones about this topic
This can prove tricky for some, especially when their relatives are defensive and misunderstand the true aim of a lasting power of attorney agreement.
The real purpose, contrary to popular belief, is to protect the assets and affairs of the person and allow them to make decisions for themselves for as long as is possible.
Unfortunately, misconceptions mean that many still believe that it allows people to unreasonably control their lives and finances, even without their express permission.
This is not the case, so it’s important to stress this and use government publications and easy to understand resources when explaining why you feel it is in your loved one’s best interests.
It’s also advisable to pick your time and setting and broach the subject sensitively. Remember that this concerns your loved one’s future, and it can be upsetting and frightening to discuss impending mental incapacity or a diagnosis which they haven’t fully come to terms with yet.
15 – How to change the power of attorney
You can change the power of attorney – but only if you or your relative has the mental capacity to do so.
If you wish to change your lasting power of attorney arrangements (to appoint a new attorney, or change their responsibilities) you are required to submit changes via your solicitor or through what is known as a ‘Partial Deed of Revocation’ to remove a single person and/or replace them with a new attorney.
If you choose to do this because of misconduct or a breakdown in your relationship related to malicious, suspicious or deceitful conduct you can make a complaint via the Office of the Public Guardian’s safeguarding unit.
If you wish to end or change power of attorney, you will need to send what is known as a ‘Deed of Revocation’ to the Office of the Public Guardian. This is something you can do yourself, but it will need to be witnessed and signed. There may also be a cost of power of attorney if a change is made.
No changes can be made if there has been a significant deterioration in the condition of the person the lasting power of attorney protects – which is why it’s so important to ensure that the documentation fully covers you from the start.
16 – What have I forgotten about?
We strongly recommend that you also look at making a will at the same time as creating your lasting power of attorney. Again, this is an issue that should be addressed early on, before you lose mental capacity.
17 – Where to go if you still need more information
If you require more guidance or have any questions on a lasting power of attorney, law, cost and rates, are unsure whether it is appropriate, or would like to know if you are eligible, you can firstly speak with your GP or social worker.
They will be able to give an indication of whether you or your relative is mentally well enough for a power of attorney agreement.
You can seek support from charities such as Age UK and your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, who will be able to provide additional details of the agreement along with a list of organisations and solicitors who can help.
For further help and advice regarding the legal and financial implications of old age or ill health please take a look at our related articles and dedicated information pages on this site.