Choosing your Attorneys
When it comes to setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney, choosing your Attorneys is the most important decision you can make. You are appointing your Attorneys to help you when you are at your most vulnerable and making a mistake can cost you dearly.
Most people assume that the next of kin would be, or must be their Attorney. But this is not true.
Many families also believe that they can appoint themselves as an Attorney. Again, another mistake.
Choosing your attorneys is down to you and you alone as the donor (person granting Power of Attorney) and cannot be decided by anyone else. Except by the Court of Protection when making an application for guardianship.
Who should be an Attorney?
Lasting Powers of Attorney were introduced in 2007 following the introduction on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005). And LPAs are governed by this legislation.
Section 7 of the MCA 2005 refers to LPAs and has very clear guidelins about who can and should be appointed as an Attorney.
Section 7.8 states that Attorneys “must be trustworthy, competent and reliable. They must also have the skills and ability necessary to carry out the task”. Which is the key part.
Although family members may be well intentioned, many do not have the knowledge or experience required to effectively make decisions about financial affairs or healthcare decisions. Particularly if the donor runs a business which is often governed by many regulations.
Do not choose an Attorney simply because you or they think it should be them. Choose your Attorney because they absolutely are the best person for the job.
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