Whatever you decide about your future, it's important to involve a specialist solicitor who will give you impartial advice and act in your best interest. We are members of Solicitors for the Elderly and can help you. Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) is a national organisation of lawyers, such as solicitors, barristers and legal executives, committed to providing and promoting high-quality legal services for older people, their family and carers.
SFE’s top tips around Lasting Power of Attorney are:
Plan early – While you have capacity, it’s vital that you get your affairs in order and choose the best people to manage your affairs, in case of an accident or illness. You can’t appoint an attorney once you lose capacity.
Choose carefully – Think carefully who you want to appoint as your attorney and have an open conversation with them so they understand your wishes and what their responsibilities will include. Consider appointing more than one person as your attorney so they can share the responsibility.
Consider appointing a professional – A family member might not always be the best person to act as your attorney. Instead, you can appoint a professional such as a solicitor. They can act as a neutral third party and make unbiased decisions that are in your best interests. Bear in mind this usually involves a cost.
Think about different circumstances – Consider how you would like your attorney to manage your property and financial affairs in different situations. For example, are you happy for your property to be sold to pay for your care costs?
Address the difficult questions – Your attorney might have to make difficult decisions about your health and welfare. If you have specific wishes around your care plans, medical treatment, or end of life wishes, make sure you discuss this with them and make your choices clear in your document.
Seek professional advice – Shop-bought and online LPA kits may be suitable for those with very straightforward financial situations or with considerable legal experience, but for most people, seeking professional legal advice is the best way of ensuring that an LPA is effective, legally robust and safe.
Keep your plans current – Make sure you keep your LPA updated if your circumstances change. Your choices around the people you want responsible for your finances and wellbeing may change, such as following a marriage or divorce, when children reach adulthood, or if parents pass away.
Contact Sharon Richardson or Belinda Poulter on 01904 624185 for more information and advice.