6 reasons to set up a Power of Attorney | HK Wealth

6 reasons to set up a Power of Attorney

None of us like to think about a possible future where we can’t make decisions for ourselves or live independently.

But none of us can know what life will bring, so it’s really important to be prepared for this possibility.

You can do this by setting up a Power of Attorney (POA), where you can give a person you trust the legal right to make decisions on your behalf.

There are two types of power of attorney:6 reasons to set up a Power of Attorney

  • Power of attorney relating to your financial/property affairs is known as a ‘continuing power of attorney’ and may be given with the intention of taking effect immediately and continuing on you becoming incapable. Or you can decide you only want it to begin if you become incapable.
  • Welfare power of attorney allows someone you have appointed to make welfare decisions for you, and these powers cannot be exercised until such time as you have lost the capacity to make these decisions.

The power of attorney document must be certified by a solicitor or a medical practitioner. They must interview the person granting the power of attorney before they sign the document. This is to make sure they’re aware of what they’re doing and are not under undue influence.

Powers of attorney – those which are to continue or begin in the event of incapacity – cannot take effect until they’ve been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

You can decide you only want it to begin if you become incapable, and can specify how you want your incapacity to be determined.

Why you might need power of attorney

Without a power of attorney, nobody has an automatic right to make decisions on your behalf if you can no longer do so yourself. Someone might have to go to court for a guardianship or intervention order before they could act on your behalf.

Having an POA in place can bring with it many benefits, such as…

Confidence for the future

You don’t want to spend years worrying about what might happen to your money or your health if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself in later life.

But if you set up an POA, you can have peace of mind about the future, as it gives you a say over who is responsible for making wide-ranging decisions about your money or your care.

Less potential for family conflict

If you lose capacity to make decisions for yourself and don’t have an POA, different family members may have their own ideas of what should be done for you and who should make these decisions – and that can invite conflict and potentially even legal disputes.

But if you lay out your plans beforehand and make your wishes clearly known, there’s no room for any misunderstanding and argument.

Make sure your wishes are carried out

You may have very clear ideas of what steps should be taken with regards to managing your money or healthcare. In that case, there’s no reason why you can’t communicate these to your attorney and provide them with very specific instructions about what you want to happen in certain situations.

It’s all about ensuring your preferences are followed.

Avoid costly and expensive legal proceedings

If you lose capacity to make decisions for yourself, and you don’t have an POA in place, your loved ones might have to go through the courts to apply for the right to manage your affairs.

This can be a complex, lengthy, expensive and emotionally draining process, but all this can be avoided if you set up an POA.

You can choose your attorney

You have the right to pick your own attorney to act on your behalf, such as a family member, a close friend or a trusted professional – a solicitor, for example.

That means you have the freedom to select individuals who you are confident will act in your best interests should you ever lose capacity to act for yourself.

POA’s are flexible

An POA isn’t a document that’s set in stone, as your needs, circumstances and priorities may change over time. For example, one of your attorneys may pass away or fall ill, which means you need to pick someone else to assume this role.

You can update your POA at any time, so you can be certain the document is fit for purpose at all times and works for you if and when it ever needs to be implemented.

We understand that thinking about a future where you lack the capacity to make decisions for yourself is hard, and it’s easy to kick this particular can down the road.

But an POA is a really good insurance policy for the future, giving you the certainty and confidence that difficult decisions have already been taken, and that your future is in safe hands.


If this blog has raised any questions why don't we have a quick chat?

Garry Hale
Garry Hale
MD & Certified Financial Planner

A brief meeting might be of interest, especially if you’re unsure just how wealth management and financial planning could help you.

It would only require the investment of an hour or so of your time, and the coffee’s not bad either.