It is always advisable to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) because you can never be certain of what the future will bring. An LPA allows you to give someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf should you not have the mental capacity to make these decisions on your own, or if you do not want to make certain decisions. For these reasons it is very important that your choice of attorney(s) is a decision made wisely.
What to think about when selecting your attorneys
|Article by Kagowa Kuruneri|
Spouses and other family members cannot just walk into the bank and access your accounts, even if it is to pay for your care. Without an LPA in place your relatives will have to apply to the court to be given authority to help you in this way, and this can be a long and costly process.
Depending on the type of LPA you make, your attorney will have the power to make decisions such as where you live and whether or not you should receive or stop receiving a particular health care treatment. If your attorney is managing your affairs they will have the authority to write cheques in your name, sell or rent your property and even carry out your trade or business. Additionally, they will be able to conduct legal matters on your behalf.
Because of the power and responsibilities your attorney will have it is important that you consider the following:
- Bearing in mind their own lives and obligations, is your attorney guaranteed to be able to take on, and manage, the responsibility you will be giving them? How well do they look after their own affairs?
- Think about the type of LPA you are creating, does your attorney have any relevant background or knowledge that will assist them in making those decisions on your behalf?
- Can your attorney act alone or would it be better to have two or more people working with them to ensure that all decisions made on your behalf have been thought through with the time, care and consideration required?
- Can your attorney be trusted to act in your best interests, setting aside all personal feelings and emotions?
- How well do you know your attorney? Would you still be comfortable with them making decisions on your behalf regardless of how circumstances and relationships change as time goes by?
- Do you trust your attorney implicitly?
Remember, even though an LPA can be revoked, you have to be deemed to have the mental capacity to be able to make the revocation.
What to think about when selecting your certificate provider
In order to have your LPA registered, you will also need to have a reliable certificate provider. This is a person who can serve as a witness for your LPA and should be able to prove that at the time of preparing your LPA you did so on your own volition and that you understood the nature, purpose and scope of the authority you have granted. Your certificate provider should be able to act independently and possess the professional skills and expertise to provide your certificate.
Garden House Solicitors specialise in drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney and are happy to assist you with any of your needs or concerns. To arrange an appointment, telephone me on 01992 422 128 or email me at Kagowa@GHSLaw.co.uk.
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Tel: 01992 422 128
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.