A Power of Attorney gives someone of your choice (your Attorney) the authority to take actions or make decisions on your behalf if you should suddenly be unable to do so for yourself. A Power of Attorneyensures that your financial affairs and personal welfare can still be dealt with/protected in the event of you being unable to. Nobody wants to consider a situation where they cannot make decisions for themselves, and we all hope that the time will never come. For most people this is true. However, for many people an event occurs which causes them to lose capacity to look after their own affairs.
If you lose capacity, it means that you are no longer able to look after your own financial and personal affairs – perhaps due to illness such as the onset of dementia or having a stroke. Losing capacity can mean many things. These include being:
- incapable of acting on decisions; or
- incapable of making decisions; or
- incapable of communicating decisions; or
- incapable of understanding decisions; or
- incapable of retaining the memory of decisions in relation to any particular matter due to mental disorder; or
- incapable of communicating due to physical disability.