Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to know that if you lose mental capacity, either temporarily or permanently, in the future your affairs will be taken care of.
In an ideal world, the person (or persons) you appoint as your attorney would be a trusted family member or friend. That said, being an attorney is a very important and responsible position.
A health and welfare attorney may be making decisions about where you live, what you eat or a treatment plan for illness. A property and finance attorney may be making decisions about where to invest your finances or about selling a property. If you have a business, you may then require another attorney to manage your business affairs.
An attorney needs to consider whether they have the skills to act on your behalf, particularly for property and financial affairs and even more so if they are complex. They also have to consider the legal responsibilities and whether they are prepared to take those on.
If you have no one that you trust with these responsible positions, then you will need to consider appointing a professional attorney.
Professional attorneys are typically solicitors, accountants or a trust corporation – which is often part of a bank or firm of solicitors set up to provide services like these. They are typically used for property and financial affairs, as they often have the required skill set to deal with the legal and financial requirements of this LPA.
However, it may also be worth considering appointing a family member who perhaps is not confident in these areas alongside a professional. You would need to define each of their areas of responsibility. This way the family member could take on the day-to-day decisions and the professional could deal with the more complex areas requiring expertise.
A professional attorney will usually charge for their time and details of these fees will be included in your LPA. Non-professional attorneys are generally not paid a fee, although they can claim reasonable expenses.
For advice on preparing an LPA or appointing a professional attorney, please call Bicester Wills & Probate on 01869 226760