The Power of Attorney is an important future-planning document that all adults should consider putting in place, particularly as they become older.
It is a legal document that gives the named person (the Attorney) the power to act or make decisions on your behalf should you become incapable of doing so. These decisions can relate to financial and/or welfare matters.
It is your choice who you would like to appoint as your Attorney, but it needs to be someone you trust completely and who has the necessary skills and abilities to carry out the role effectively.
You also have the option of appointing more than one person as your Attorney, which can be advantageous in some situations:
In addition, it is possible to appoint a substitute Attorney, who will only take up the position should your appointed Attorney become unable to carry out the role, for example because they become ill themselves or resign.
We would always recommend that a client considers appointing a second or substitute Attorney. If you only appoint one Attorney and something unexpected happens to that person then your Power of Attorney would become worthless. If your health has declined by that stage, you may be unable to grant a new Power of Attorney. It would then be necessary for someone to apply to court to obtain a Guardianship Order to act on your behalf, which is an extremely costly and time-consuming process.
It is important to recognise that there can be drawbacks associated with appointing more than one Attorney, including the risk that they might have differing opinions over what decisions or courses of action are in your best interests. However, you can help reduce the likelihood of this arising by providing as much information as possible from the outset about your financial and welfare priorities and choosing your Attorneys wisely.
We clearly outline the implications from initial contact, helping to dispel the mystery behind the law and legal process. Our highly personal service reflects our culture, which is centred on integrity and trust, and the expert guidance we provide has been designed to be an investment, not an expense. For more information on our services, including preparing Powers of Attorney, please contact us today.