Who Should You Choose as Your Attorney?
What is Lasting Power of Attorney?
Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you make choices about what will happen in the eventuality of losing mental capacity. You must select one or more Attorneys, which will legally act on your behalf if you ever lose mental capacity. It is important that the Attorneys you select must be trustworthy, as they will be responsible for making important decisions. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
• Financial Decisions – managing current accounts, savings, investments, buying or selling property, welfare benefits, tax and debts
• Health & Care Decisions – deciding upon medical treatment, healthcare, and housing.
Who should I choose?
Choosing who to appoint as Attorney will be a big decision when making the LPA. You must ensure that any nominated Attorney will act dutifully and with your best interests in mind. LPAs are flexible, as you can arrange for some Attorneys to make your Financial decisions, and for different Attorneys for Health & Care decisions.
A common misconception is that your spouse could act on your behalf without legally binding LPAs. This is untrue, and for your spouse to make these decisions, you have to select them as an Attorney.
Many people select their children or relatives to be Attorneys. If you feel that your children or family members would best look after your interests, you may choose them.
What roles would Attorneys have?
There are also different options for the role of Attorneys. If you decide upon having only one Attorney to act on your behalf, you can elect them as the sole Attorney. If you opt for having more than one, they can act: Jointly, Severally, or Jointly & Severally. Attorneys acting Jointly must make all decisions together without exception. Severally means that the Attorneys can make decisions separately. There is also a combination of the two, when Attorneys can act Jointly & Severally. This means that they can make decisions together or separately.