How to Choose a Lasting Power of Attorney

If you decide to appoint a lasting power of attorney to act on your behalf, you should carefully consider who you select, as this position carries a lot of responsibility. Helping you navigate this complex matter, Prestige Tax and Trust Services explains how to choose a lasting power of attorney.

Creation process

There may come a time where you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. We advise you to make a lasting power of attorney before this day comes. They have the legal power to handle your financial affairs and personal welfare. This can be useful, for instance, if you have contracted a serious illness and cannot make decisions on your medical care, as your attorney will be able to do so.

In order to create a lasting power of attorney, start by downloading the relevant form from the UK government’s website. Complete this document, sign it and then ask both your attorney’s and two witnesses to also sign it. You will then need to complete the registration form, which is on the same website, pay the registration fee (currently £110) and send it to the Office of the Public Guardian.

Selection process

As you are giving this person an incredible amount of responsibility, you should consider who to make your lasting power of attorney very carefully. It is common practise to select a friend or family member for this position. This is because they are more likely to act in your best interests, so you can trust a friend or family member to put you ahead of themselves when acting as your attorney.

But some friends and family are more appropriate for the role of lasting power of attorney than others. We would suggest that you to look at how the person handles their own affairs, to determine whether they would make a good attorney. If they have significant debts, for example, they would be unsuitable to the role of financial affairs attorney, which primarily concerns money management.

It may be in your best interests to appoint more than one person, by creating a joint lasting power of attorney. With this strategy, one person can act as a check on the other, increasing the chances that your best interests will be represented. You need to decide whether the attorneys are allowed to act jointly, meaning they must always work together, or jointly and severally, meaning that they can act together or separately, at their discretion, when you create this type of lasting power of attorney.

Prestige Tax and Trust Services

Whoever you choose to serve as your lasting power of attorney, you should keep in mind that this area of UK law is fairly complex. You may want to enlist expert aid, to ensure that you attorney has the legal power to act on your behalf, should the worst happen. The team at Prestige Tax and Trust Services possesses the knowledge and experience needed to handle lasing power of attorney matters.

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