Choosing an attorney can be a difficult decision to make, so don’t make it in haste. The main rule when choosing your attorney is that they must be 18 or over, but other than that you are free to choose who you want, so choose someone who you trust. Take a look below at the factors you should be considering when choosing your attorney.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal agreement that allows someone you trust, your attorney, to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity or no longer choose to. There are two types of LPA, one for financial and one for health and well-being. To find out more about the two different types, read our guide to Lasting Power of Attorney.
You have the option of limiting the types of decisions your attorney can make on your behalf or allowing them to make all of them.
If you’re establishing an LPA for financial matters, your attorney must keep track of accounts and keep their money independent from yours. You can inquire about how much money is spent and how much money you have on a regular basis. If you lose mental capacity, these facts can be given to your solicitor or a family member. This adds an extra layer of security.
Your attorney will be faced with a number of significant decisions to make, as well as a great deal of obligation to make choices that impact your wishes. You should pick someone who:
Once you have a person in mind, or a group of people, it is advisable to think about these three points:
Think about how well you know this person and if they are able to manage their own finances and well-being to a good enough degree.
Consider the possibility that your attorney will not be required to make choices until a later date. Most people appoint a family member or close friend as their attorney, particularly for a health and welfare LPA – although someone younger may be more suited.
Before you sign the LPA, speak with the person you choose to be your attorney. You can inform them of your preferences and ensure that they are happy to take on the position.
Because this is a significant legal document that grants broad authority over someone’s life and well-being, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance and guidance from a solicitor before drafting a Lasting Power of Attorney to guarantee that the power granted will not be abused. By hiring a solicitor, you can rest assured that the entire procedure will be carried out lawfully. A solicitor may also assist you if you are unclear about the process, the family is feuding, or there are complex assets, such as enterprises or overseas assets.
You can also nominate an alternative attorney. If your original choice of attorney is no longer capable and willing to carry out their role, this is another person you trust to make choices for you.
This is a good choice, and it can provide you added peace of mind, especially if you’re just appointing one attorney.
Our solicitors have a wealth of experience in helping Merseyside residents set up a Lasting Power of Attorney, and we’re striving to make people more aware of why it’s so important to have this agreement in place before it may be too late.
If you’re unsure of whether you may need an LPA, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our friendly team or call us on 0330 016 7847 and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.