An introduction to Lasting Powers of Attorney
What are the benefits of preparing and having a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Upon losing mental capacity a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) will allow you to nominate trusted individuals to deal with your affairs and further allow you to have peace of mind that you have made things as easy as possible for your friends and family.
When can a Lasting Power of Attorney be used?
Your attorney can only use your LPA when you have lost mental capacity and if they have registered the document with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Who to appoint as an attorney?
Careful consideration should be given when appointing an attorney. A sole attorney can be appointed, however where multiple attorneys are appointed you must decide how they are to act, you can chose for them to act jointly or jointly and severally.
Your attorney must be over the age of eighteen and have mental capacity to act in your best interest. Commonly, people tend to choose:
Although your attorney need not live in the UK or be a British citizen, you should consider how well they would be able to deal with your affairs. You should also consider if their geographical location will accommodate your needs should they have to act as an attorney, whether you trust and know that they will act in your best interest and whether or not they will be willing to act for you or act alongside any other attorneys.
As advised by the Office of the Public Guardian, you cannot choose someone as attorney who is subject to a Debt Relief Order or is bankrupt if you’re making a LPA for property and financial affairs.
What are the duties of an attorney?
There are various duties which an attorney owes a donor, these can be found in the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice at 7.58-7.68, and some of these are to:
- Offer a duty of care to the donor;
- To comply with the directions of the Court of Protection;
- To deal with the donor’s money, to keep accounts and keep your finances separate;
- To respect the donor’s confidentiality and;
- To always act in good faith;
- Consider any preferences the donor included in the Lasting Power of Attorney;
- Help the donor make their own decisions as much as they can;
- If attorneys are acting jointly, they must all agree and if they are acting jointly and severally, they can make decisions together or on their own.
Protect your wishes
If you would like to book an appointment with one of our qualified Estate Planning Consultants who can discuss the benefits of making a Lasting Power of Attorney with you, please contact us on 03455 20 30 40, or by clicking here.
The Will Writing Company can also provide cost effective, professional Attorney appointments through The Family Trust Corporation Limited. Contact us for more information.