Who can be an Attorney?
You can chose a family member, friend, professional adviser (e.g. solicitor or accountant) or anyone willing to act for you that you chose, provided they are over 18.
You should consider appointing either more than one Attorney or a replacement Attorney in the event that one of your Attorneys is unable, incapable or unwilling to act so there is always someone available to act for you.
If you appoint more than one Attorney, you will need to decide whether they are to act together (i.e. each of them has to sign everything that requires a signature and make joint decisions), or act together and independently (i.e. either one can act alone without reference to the other, and sign cheques etc. alone).
You can choose whether Attorneys are to act together in some matters and independently in others.
We recommend that Attorneys are appointed to act together and independently. If something happens to one of the Attorneys, and they are unable to act, there will be another one or two who can act as well. You may however have a good reason not to do this.
If you wish to appoint a replacement Attorney you can say when they are to act e.g. if an existing Attorney is unable to carry out their duties, does not wish to act on your behalf or dies.
The Public Guardian is responsible for maintaining a register of LPAs that are registered. The Public Guardian can be notified that an Attorney is not acting in your best interests, and can then decide what action to take. The Attorney may be asked to account for all their dealings and the Court of Protection can cancel an LPA if there is sufficient evidence that the Attorney is not acting in your best interests.
The Attorney can also be ordered to compensate you for any losses and, as a very last resort, can be found guilty of a criminal offence for which there is a fine and/or a sentence of imprisonment of up to five years.
When making your LPA you have to provide a list of people you want to be notified when registration is taking place. Having been notified, these people are to contact the Court, and to make a representation if they feel you are being put under pressure to make the Power of Attorney.
It has been suggested that up to five people should be named but one is sufficient. These can include family members but not your attorneys or certificate providers.