Property & Affairs
A lasting power of attorney for property and affairs is an important legal document under which you, the donor, appoint a person or persons of your choice, the attorney, to deal with and manage your property and financial affairs. Without these types of lasting power of attorney difficulties can arise if you become incapable of managing your affairs because of either physical or mental incapacity.
Points to consider
As the donor you have control over:
- Choice of attorney(s). These might be family members, trusted friends or professionals.
- Whether, in the case of appointing more than one attorney, you appoint them jointly or jointly and severally. A joint appointment means that all your chosen attorneys have to act together and unanimously in connection with all decisions that need to be made. With a joint and several appointment, although you have appointed more than one attorney, they can act independently of each other.
- Whether the attorneys’ authority to act is to be restricted in any particular way. It may be the case that you do not want your attorney to be able to undertake certain actions. However, caution must be exercised when imposing restrictions as they can cause difficulties in the future. This is something that requires careful consideration and proper professional advice.
- Whether specific guidance should be offered to your attorneys. Guidance to your attorney is just that – it is an expression of your thoughts and wishes which are not binding on your attorney but may be helpful to guide them in certain circumstances.
- Whether revocation of the power of attorney is needed. As long as you retain the mental capacity to do so you are free to revoke your lasting power of attorney at any time even if the document has been registered and has been used. If therefore you are not happy with how an attorney has been acting or there is a change of circumstances then you are free to revoke or cancel the power of attorney at any time provided you retain the capacity to do so.
A lasting power of attorney is an important and powerful document and it is always advisable to obtain clear and impartial advice and to ensure that it truly and properly reflects your wishes. We have a team of specialists in this field including members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly who will be happy to assist.