How you can manage issues when moving house whilst in the military

28th September 2023

Buying or selling a property can be stressful no matter the circumstances, but if you are in the military this may cause additional pressures such as unavoidable deployments, delayed returns, incapacitation and being unavailable to contact.

If you are in the middle of a property sale or purchase you will need to sign and return hard copy documentation. Your solicitor will need your instructions as to how you wish to proceed in any given circumstances. Where this is not possible or delayed your transaction could become protracted, delaying your house move and even leading to your sale or purchase falling through.

You can regain control of this situation by providing your solicitor with a General Power of Attorney whereby you choose and appoint a trusted individual to sign the documentation on your behalf and deal with your affairs in your absence. This General Power of Attorney can be made in relation to a particular purchase sale or transaction, or you can make what is known as a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which has a wider remit to incorporate all your finances and affairs as you see fit, not just the property transaction. An LPA  also enables your chosen attorney to act for you if you were to lose your mental capacity.

If you do not have an LPA in place and you lose capacity to manage your affairs and make decisions, your loved ones would need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your Deputy. This is a far more complicated process and is a last resort when no one has the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. You may not end up with the Deputy you would have chosen for yourself and a Deputy’s powers are also more restricted than those under an LPA.

To avoid any pitfalls, you should seek advice. For example, did you know that if you own your property with your spouse or partner you cannot appoint them as your sole attorney? An individual could not act in both the capacity of joint seller and attorney for the absent owner. In this scenario you would appoint a second alternative attorney who could in this scenario act instead.

What if both you and your partner are in the military and you are both deployed or incapacitated? Did you know that a single attorney cannot be appointed as attorney for both of you? In that scenario you would need to appoint one each.

We offer military personnel a 10% discount on these matters.

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