Lasting Power of Attorney – What should you consider when choosing who to appoint?

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An Attorney is the person who you appoint in your Lasting Power of Attorney (legal document) to make decisions to do with your health and/or finances on your behalf, in the event you are unable to do so. Perhaps you are going abroad, or you are concerned about illness or mental capacity. Your spouse, partner or other family members do not automatically have legal authority to deal with your financial or personal affairs.

Therefore, careful planning when appointing your attorneys is essential. But what should you consider when choosing who to appoint? We hope this article will help with this important decision…

Who can be an attorney?

  • You can have as many as you wish, but it is usual to have between one and four
  • They must be 18 or over
  • For a property and affairs LPA, the person you choose must not be bankrupt or the subject of a ‘debt relief order’

What decisions would my attorneys make?

Property and Financial Affairs LPA:

If you have mental capacity, your attorney can make decisions on your behalf with your consent. Any decisions must be made in your best interests. Such decisions could include:

  • Authorising day to day expenditure
  • Dealing with your bank accounts
  • Dealing with the sale of your house
  • Communicating with insurance and utility companies
  • Instructing your solicitors, accountants and other professionals

Health and Welfare LPA:

Your attorney can only make decisions if you are unable to do so yourself and must be made in your best interests. These decisions could include:

  • What medical treatments you should or should not have
  • What type of healthcare you should receive
  • Whether you should continue to live in your own home or move into a residential care home
  • How you should be dressed and looked after
  • What diet you should have
  • What your daily routine would consist of

What should you consider when choosing an attorney?

Your attorney will have a lot of responsibility to make decisions that reflect your wishes. Our advice is to choose someone who you trust, is reliable, and has the necessary skills to carry out the role.

You may also want to consider:

  • How well the person manages their own finances and decisions about their own wellbeing or those around them
  • If you plan early, the attorney may not be needed until some time in the future. It may be more appropriate to appoint someone younger than you
  • Asking the person you wish to appoint if they would be happy to take on the responsibility
  • You can also appoint someone as your ‘replacement attorney’ who would take over if the attorney can’t or doesn’t want to carry on their role
  • If you do not have anyone you feel happy to appoint, our Solicitors can act as your attorney. 

How can we help?

Our friendly, supportive, and experienced Private Client team are here to guide you through the process of creating your LPA and appointing your attorney. 

Megan Miller

Senior Associate, Head of Wills and Probate

Contact a member of the team  

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