WoollcombeYonge   Should I get a Solicitor involved with Lasting Powers of Attorney?
WoollcombeYonge
Dave Smith

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Should I get a Solicitor involved with Lasting Powers of Attorney?

Should I get a solicitor involved with a Lasting Power of Attorney?

It has been reported that there are now 4.7 million registered Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, with approximately half of those relating to property/finances and the other half to health.

Given this staggering figure, there is a concern amongst legal professionals that there is room for misuse or abuse of the LPA, so when and why does this happen?

People often appoint close family members to be their attorneys, responsible for such things as managing their bank accounts, paying bills, selling property and deciding what sort of care they need. The decisions they make are personal and must always be made in accordance with the best interests of the person who put the LPA in place.

Appointing close family members comes with its problems however as those family members may make decisions based on their view of the situation. For example, the attorney may think that they are inheriting everything anyway so make decisions based on that assumption, or they may believe that their parent would have wanted them to have a sum of money. Regard must be had however as to whether this is really what the parent wants or needs.

The attorney may not be deliberately misusing the power as perhaps they are not fully aware of their legal responsibilities towards that family member.

Getting a qualified solicitor involved in this process is vital. We will discuss with you any wishes as to how money is managed or what sort of care you would want, and we can incorporate this into your LPA. This makes matters far clearer to your attorneys rather than requiring them to often guess their way through, assuming they are acting in the correct way.

Choosing an attorney is important. You may trust your son or daughter explicitly, but can they properly manage money? Would they need some support from a suitable professional, for example, or would you want them to liaise with another family member who knows more about how investments are managed. This sort of detail can be added to your LPA so your instructions are clear and there is no room for doubt.

Getting the right advice is paramount, not only to protect yourself but to make the process a little easier for your attorney. The job of an attorney can be burdensome, so be sure to seek the appropriate advice.

For more information or to put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, contact Raegan Leather on 01752 827920 or email her at rl@wysolicitors.co.uk.

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