WINTERBORNE LEGAL SERVICES
If you’re thinking about giving somebody control over your money and your property, the first thing you should think about is that it is not just a matter of quickly filling out a form and getting it registered. This is about planning who will make decisions about how the rest of your life would be lived, if you become unable to make your own decisions.
What decisions can my Attorneys make?
Your Attorney will be able to make decisions about all of your property and financial affairs, unless you choose to limit his or her power. If this wide authority concerns you, you can choose to include provisions in the Lasting Power of Attorney which limit what your Attorney can do. You may also include guidance for your Attorney about what you would like them to do. But remember, guidance doesn’t limit the power of your Attorney, it just tell them what you would like to happen.
Can I appoint more than one Attorney?
Yes, and this is usually a good idea.
Where you are appointing more than one Attorney, you will need to decide whether they should act jointly, jointly and severally (this means together or independently) or jointly in relation to some matters and jointly and severally in relation to others.
This is quite a complex area and can produce unexpected results for the unwary. If you are thinking of appointing Attorneys jointly, you may need some help about how this would be likely to work and what the potential outcomes could be. One potential consequence of your decision could be that you lose all your Attorneys at the same time, which is probably not what you want.
Do I need Replacement Attorneys?
The appointment of your original Attorney could come to an end for a number of reasons. They could choose to retire as Attorney because of poor health, they could become bankrupt or suffer mental incapacity themselves.
If any of these events occur, and you had only appointed a sole Attorney, you would no longer have any Attorneys who could act on your behalf. To avoid this situation, you will need a Replacement Attorney to be able to step forward.
Even if you had appointed, for example, three Attorneys, you may still wish to have a Replacement Attorney so that after the original Attorney can no longer act, you still have three Attorneys who are able to make decisions for you.
You can specify when the Replacement Attorney steps in, and which original Attorney they replace.
This is another area where you are likely to need help, to make sure the appointment of the Replacement Attorneys will be effective.
When can my Lasting Power of Attorney be used?
Your Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used by your Attorney or Attorneys until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
After your Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered, you will still be able to make your own financial decisions, and can continue making your own decisions for as long as you are able. If you become unable to make your own decisions, your Attorney can take over without completing any more forms for the Office of the Public Guardian.
Can I remove an Attorney?
Yes. If you find out that one of your Attorneys hasn’t been acting in your best interests, you can remove them if you are still able to make your own decisions.
Additionally, the Attorney can be reported to the Office of the Public Guardian by anybody who has concerns about them or the way they are managing your affairs. The Office of the Public Guardian can investigate and apply to the Court of Protection to have the Attorney removed.
There is a lot to think about when you are deciding to create a Lasting Power of Attorney.
We can help by talking you through the selection of your Attorneys and Replacement Attorneys, and looking with you at how you can give guidance to your Attorneys and build in safeguards which help protect your assets.
If you would like to have a free, no obligation, chat about your Lasting Power of Attorney, please give me a call on 01308 424 808 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re shy, please use the contact form below and we’ll respond to your question.