How can you support a friend or relative who is self-isolating?
The government has advised that anyone with symptoms of the COVID-19 virus should self-isolate for 14 days, but a longer period avoiding all non-essential contact for the over 70s and those in high risk categories is encouraged. More information about the symptoms and what to do can be found on the BBC and government websites.
If you are named as an attorney in a Property and Finance in a Lasting Power of Attorney for a friend or relative, you can act on their behalf and ensure they stay on top of their finances and bills, should they need to self-isolate; giving them peace of mind and avoiding any unnecessary health risks.
To act as an attorney, your friend or relative will need to have made and registered a Property and Finance Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Being an attorney will enable you to access their bank and utility accounts as if they were your own, and you will be able to make payments and transfer money, as and when it is needed.
To support your friend or relative as an attorney you should collect the original LPA document or a certified copy; this could be stored by the legal practice who completed it, or at home with the donor (the person who has taken out the LPA). We suggest you obtain a self-certified copy* You will need to provide the original or certified copy LPA to banks and other institutions to prove that you have authority to act.
You will also need to show proof of your identity. Once all documentation has been provided you will have full access to the donor’s accounts for their benefit, as if they were your own.
If you have any questions regarding your Property and Finance LPA, or would like to put yours in place, then please call us as soon as you can. It can take several weeks to register (usually 8-10, but longer during social distancing restrictions) before it is ready for use.
If you need immediate support, you could make a general power of attorney giving the person you trust authority to carry out very specific financial tasks on your behalf for a set period of time. This type of power of attorney ends if you lose mental capacity or on the date you have set, whichever is soonest. It could be useful whilst you wait for the Lasting Power of Attorney to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.