When creating a lasting power of attorney you need to decide who will make important decisions for you in the future. You need to decide:
- who to appoint as your attorney(s)
- how your attorney(s) will make decisions
- if you wish to restrict your attorney(s)
- who will substitute your attorney(s) if they are no longer able to act
- if you want to notify anyone immediately
Appointing your attorneys
First of all you need to decide who you are going to appoint as your attorney or attorneys.
It goes without saying but these people should be people who you trust implicitly.
They are likely to be making some very important decisions on your behalf. Your attorneys: must be over the age of eighteen; cannot be bankrupt.
Deciding how your attorneys will make decisions
If you decide to have more than one attorney, you will need to decide whether your attorneys are given authority to act jointly and severally, or jointly.
Acting jointly: this means that all your attorneys must agree to every decision made on your behalf.
Acting jointly and severally: this means that any one of the attorneys can make decisions independently of the others.
For example you may be happy to allow your attorneys to act jointly and severally if they are simply paying your bills, but you may want them to act jointly if they have to sell your property or make some other significant decision on your behalf.
Restrictions on what your attorneys can do
You can, if you want, put restrictions on what your attorneys can and can’t do. You can also provide guidance to your attorneys within your Lasting power of attorney about how you would like them to act in certain situations.
You may want to appoint substitute attorneys. The role of a substitute attorney is to stand in if one of your first choice attorneys is unable to act for you for any reason.
Letting other people know about the arrangements
You now need to decide whether you would like anybody other than your attorneys to be aware of the arrangements you have put in place.
If there is no intention to use the Power of attorney immediately, then these people will not be told about the arrangements at this point in time.
However, with a Lasting Power of attorney, your attorneys can only act under the document and on your behalf once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. If your attorneys do register the document at some stage in the future, they would first of all have to tell the other people that they propose registering it.
The people who are given notice will then be given the chance to make representations to the Court on your behalf if they have any worries or concerns about the arrangement.
If you would like to know more about Lasting powers of attorney, Ask a lawyer.