How do I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
In this conversation with Helen Girton of Alfred Truman Solicitors, Chris Ball asks the question – How do I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Chris: Helen, how do I make a lasting power of attorney?
Helen: There is a series of forms to complete, and as far as these forms are concern, you have to have a reasonable amount of information – obviously as far as you’re concerned yourself, that is relatively easy: full names, address, dates of birth, but you have to decide who you want to have as your attorneys. It’s not just a question of appointing anyone, you do need to give consideration to whether you need to appoint on more than one attorney, whether you’ve got any affairs that may be need to be dealt by a specialized attorney and perhaps appoint them with regards to those matters specifically and indeed whether do you want to put restrictions or guidance for your attorneys into the power when you make it. You also have to think about a number of other things the lasting powers of attorney has been drafted on the basis that they will be secure as far as the person giving the power is concerned and that means you have somebody to called a certificate provider and that person will the person who will say you are not being forced to sign this and we are perfectly happy that you understand what it means. So you have to consider who that will be. There are other safeguards as well so you have to consider other people as well and indeed whether you would want your attorneys to act together or together and separately.
There are quite of lot of things you have to take into account and or course it’s going to be different for each person depending on their circumstances.
Chris: Right so how would I get advised about that type of thing because I’ve never done a lasting power of attorney before?
Helen: Well I think its important to come and see a solicitor from that point of view because we can guide you as to what may be necessary from your own point of view, but also what we consider best in your circumstances and that unfortunately not may be always the way that you would actually deal with it.
Chris: Right because obviously there’s a lot of sites out there that suggesting that you can do it yourself and that type of thing. What types of problems could you encounter if you try do it yourself and could things go wrong?
Helen: Well they can, for instance and in particular if you want to put restrictions as what your attorney can and can’t do and what they may and may not be able to invest in, I always find that very difficult because of course we don’t have a crystal ball we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future and it may be that the very thing you restricted maybe the thing that you actually need to do, so those restrictions have to be looked at very carefully, just to ascertain – well is this going to be workable in the future, is this a good thing for you,for your circumstances as we might in message you will be.
Chris: So when you’re putting together a lasting power of attorney on behalf of the client you were actually go through all of this question to ask the right question to really make sure they’ve considered everything.
Helen: Yes, to ascertain exactly how they would want it to work. In particular if you are pointing professional attorneys as opposed to family members it is important perhaps to consider some sort of guidance but perhaps not restrictions, but of course if you appoint somebody professional they will know you to some extent but they don’t know you as well as a family member. If you’re appointing family members then to some extent that I would assume that they will know what you want because its within the family and you’re appointing them to trust them to know them what you do – how you do it yourself.