A Power of Attorney is a legal document which authorises another person to act on your behalf in connection with your legal affairs. Your Attorney can do anything you authorise them to do in the same way as you could do it for yourself, for example, if you say so, your attorney can operate your bank accounts, enter into contracts on your behalf and buy and sell property for you.
There are some limitations on what you can authorise your Attorney to do for you. There are others, but a fairly obvious limitation is that you can not authorise someone to get married or enter into a Civil Partnership for you.
You can appoint a single Attorney or you can appoint several. If you appoint more than one Attorney you can state whether or not they must all act together or whether one of them can act on their own.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a special kind of Power of Attorney because although you need to have full mental capacity in order to make one your Attorney can continue to act on your behalf even if you subsequently lose your mental capacity.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney. You can make one that relates your Property and Affairs. This is by far the most common type. You can also make a Lasting Power of Attorney in relation to your Health and Welfare. With this type of Lasting Power of Attorney you can authorise your Attorney to make decisions about such things as your medical treatment.
A Lasting Power of Attorney can be an invaluable document to have in place should a time come about when you need help in managing your affairs. Once completed it can be used whether you have lost mental capacity or not but if a day ever comes when you lose your understanding it can continue to be used and thus avoid the costs of an application to the Court of Protection. It is also a very powerful document and you should seek professional help to make one so that you can be confident that you fully understand the implications and so that your Lasting Power of Attorney will work for you in the way you want it to.