Posted on 12.7.19 by Michael Smoult
Would you want a daughter who is terrible at managing her own money or a son who has a gambling problem being responsible for managing your finances if you couldn’t do it yourself?
Would you want your husband with opposing medical beliefs and values or your sister who is unable to make decisions at the best of times, making decisions about your health and care if you couldn’t do it yourself?
There is no automatic right for a spouse, children, siblings etc. to make decisions for you if you can’t. If you want to select the people who will help you in the event that you can’t make decisions yourself, you MUST make Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs). These documents enable you to control who will help you if you lose your mental capacity.
You can only prepare LPAs while you have the mental capacity to do so. You will select a person or people who you want to act as your attorney and they will have to agree to take on this role. The documents may never be needed and can often be stored away but you will have peace of mind, knowing that if something did happen rendering you incapable of making decisions, you have selected those you trust and think are capable to act for you.
Family members, friends, spouses, partners and civil partners are all examples of individuals who can be chosen. Alternatively, professionals such as a solicitors can also be appointed.
It is important to think very carefully about who is the most capable of fulfilling your wishes and their suitability to make decisions in your best interest. You can choose to appoint more than one attorney, but you need to think if those people will be able to act together.
Your attorney will have to:
- Act in your best interest;
- Keep accurate records of dealings/transaction undertaken on your behalf;
- Act for you with the greatest good faith and avoiding situations where there is a conflict of interest; and
- Keep your property and finances separate from their own.
The are two different types of LPAs and it is always advisable to do both:
- Financial Decisions
- Health and Care
There is no requirement for you to have the same attorneys for both areas and you should consider the strengths and weaknesses of those you are considering in respect of their ability to perform the roles.
Appointing a power of attorney is a simple process which can be made even smoother by dealing with the right people. Here at Gorvins we have a trusted, experienced and specialist team who can help you to appoint the people you trust most to look after all of your affairs should you not be able to.