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Dependency: planning ahead with the future power of attorney scheme


This still little-known scheme enables customers who are not yet dependent to make arrangements to facilitate their lives if they lose their autonomy, by appointing an authorised representative in charge of protecting their interests – a precious ally responsible for protecting the most vulnerable people.

Dependency: planning ahead with the future power of attorney scheme

A contract arising from the demographic context

The longer life expectancies of French people – 85 years for women and 78.9 years for men in 2015 1 – are reflected by the ageing of the population and a large rise in the number of situations involving losses of physical or mental autonomy.

680 000
In this way, on 31 December 2014, there were just under 680,000 adults under legal protection, 365,000 (54%) of whom were under guardianship and 313,000 (46%) were under curatorship 2.

Created by the Law of 5 March 2007 on reforming the legal protection of adults and guardianship schemes, the future power of attorney scheme is a contractual alternative to placing someone under legal guardianship or curatorship.

How does the future power of attorney scheme work?

This is a contract in which customers can appoint a legal representative of their choice – a spouse, child, friend, lawyer, etc. – who will be responsible for representing them and defending their interests, particularly financial.

Two types of protection can be arranged: for people’s property and for people themselves.

The main benefit of the scheme is its great flexibility, because the appointers are free to adjust the powers of their authorised representatives as they see fit: they can combine their property protection and their personal protection, and assign either task to two different authorised representatives, etc. However, the two different types of protection might not be activated at the same time, depending on the extent of the decline in health. Beneficiaries of this scheme may appoint several authorised representatives.

As far as the formalities are concerned, the mandate may be drawn up:

  • unaided, by following the template provided by the Ministry of Justice,
  • with advice from a lawyer,
  • or by means of a notarial deed.

A way to plan ahead for the protection of your loved ones

Still largely unknown by the general public, the future power of attorney scheme is a solution that can be offered to certain types of customers: people suffering from long-term illnesses, disabling diseases or degenerative disabilities.

It is also an option for the parents of disabled children, who would like to plan ahead and prepare for a time when they will be no longer able to look after their children as they did before.

During the implementation of life insurance policies in particular, informing customers about the future power of attorney scheme can help them to prepare for family complications and embark on a long-term process of support for asset management and protection.

1Source Insee 2015

2InfoStat Justice, Ministère de la Justice, juillet 2016.

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