What’s the Difference between the Court of Protection and Power of Attorney?

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When it comes to understanding the law, most of the terms and definitions, especially for the general public, can be confusing. However, simply looking into the meaning of the legal terms will not be enough. Instead, you need to look deeper into the terms, in order to truly understand them.

For instance, gaining in-depth knowledge surrounding the subtleties of legal terms is one of the best ways to develop a deeper appreciation of the law and gain a true understanding of the rules that govern modern society. To that end, we’ve put together a quick guide to sum up the key differences between court of protection and power of attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

Occasionally, in business as well as personal matters of a legal nature, it is necessary to place someone in charge of making important decisions in the unfortunate event that someone becomes or can potentially become mentally or physically incapacitated.

Let’s say, you’re embarking upon a potentially dangerous journey or you’re involved in a high risk sport, it might be necessary to nominate a power of attorney in the event that the worst happens.

The following crucial distinction here is by choice, but highly recommended if your circumstances are as described. If you think that your circumstances may require a power of attorney in the future, then you can choose to nominate a third party to make financial, property and even medical decisions on your behalf, providing that you’re sound of mind at the time of making the decision to appoint a power of attorney. 

What is The Court of Protection?

Things are one step ahead with the court of protection.

In other words, a court of protection order is different from power of attorney in that the decision is taken out of the hands of the person affected on the grounds that they are no longer of mental capacity to make their own decisions.

The court of protection was created under the Mental Health Act of 2005 and has the ability to make decisions with relation to property, financial affairs and personal welfare matters for UK citizens deemed unfit to manage their own affairs.

This means that the big difference here, when placed in comparison alongside power of attorney, is that the individual in question is not the one making decisions. The commonality here is that, like a power of attorney, the decisions are made on the basis of the, now incapable, person with their best interests in mind.

How to Use a Power of Attorney

If you’re considering the possibilities of appointing a power of attorney, then a qualified local legal specialist can assist with this.

In most cases, appointing a power of attorney is a tactical decision, with given circumstances in mind.

Of course, as with anything in life, we’re thrown curve balls from time to time and it’s better to be prepared for the future as best we can.

Get in touch with a legal professional today and find out more about how to appoint a power of attorney.

And, to learn more, get in touch with us today.