Choosing someone to act as your attorney



Signing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) document authorises someone to deal with matters on your behalf, should you become unable to do so yourself.

There are two types of LPAs, one covering property and financial affairs and one covering health and welfare.

It is possible to ask your attorney to deal with your property and financial matters while you are still capable, for example if you have limited mobility and find it difficult to get to your bank. Your health and welfare matters can only be dealt with by your attorney once you can no longer make decisions for yourself.

You can choose to sign only one type of LPA if you wish but this is not something that we would recommend due to the costs and the time it takes to go through the court process; additionally, although the court will appoint a deputy to look after your finances but is extremely rare for the court to appoint a deputy to look after your health and welfare.

Who should you appoint?

You should choose someone whom you trust implicitly, as they will potentially have a great deal of say over your life and financial affairs. You can choose one person to act as your sole attorney or several to act jointly.

Your attorney needs to be aged 18 or over and in respect of a financial and property LPA you cannot appoint anyone who has been declared bankrupt or who is subject to a debt relief order.

If you do not feel that you have a family member or close friend who can act on your behalf, it is possible to appoint a professional such as a solicitor, who will charge a fee to deal with your affairs and who will be under a duty to act in your best interests.

What your attorney needs to know

You should ensure that your attorney is happy to be appointed, and that they know what responsibilities this will entail.

Give your attorney as much information up front as you can, letting them know what you will expect them to do for you and the scope of what they will be dealing with.

Let them think it through carefully and without pressure so that they can make the right decision. If they do choose to act, then discuss your wishes with them so that when the time comes they will know how you would like them to proceed.

It is a good idea to have a second choice attorney in place, in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to act when you finally need them to.

If you would like to discuss appointing an attorney, ring one of our experts on 01276 415835/6/7.