Planning your future care

7) Power of attorney – Why do you need a power of attorney?

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Some people continue to make their own decisions right up to the final days. This is known as Capacity. Capacity means that you can act on and make your own decisions. Capacity means that you understand decisions, their implications and retain the memory of the decisions. You should always be asked about your care if you have capacity.

You can choose to  name someone as your welfare and/or financial power of attorney.  They would follow your wishes if the time comes when, for whatever reason, you are not able to make or communicate your wishes. Setting up a power of attorney when you are well will give you and your family peace of mind if the time ever comes when you can’t do this yourself. Discuss with them what you want. You can nominate up to four people to do this. There is a cost for arranging power of attorney and you will need legal help. You should nominate someone for both welfare and financial power of attorney. Power of attorney is a legal document and has to be signed by you and other witnesses.

A Welfare Attorney can make decisions about treatments or care based on your wishes as discussed with you.

A Financial Attorney can deal with bills, manage your accounts and take care of your financial affairs. They can make decisions on your behalf if you were unable to make your wishes known when you are ill. You can decide on the level of responsibility they will have to deal with any finances.

For more information please see: My Power of Attorney.