Your Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is an important document. It gives your chosen attorneys the power to deal with your affairs on your behalf, should you lose the capacity to do so yourself. But is it a good idea to appoint your children?
You can make an LPA giving someone the power to deal with your property and financial affairs and (separately) an LPA in respect of your health and welfare.
Each LPA can have up to four attorneys. They can be required to act all together, so that they all have to approve each decision that is made on your behalf (but there are some risks with that approach) so it is more usual to give them each the power to make a decision on their own or to act together.
You can also appoint substitute attorneys, should your first choices be unable to act when the time comes.
Who should I choose as my attorney?
People often choose their spouse and children in the first instance, with other trusted family members or friends as their secondary choice.
If you do not have anyone to take on the role, it is also possible to appoint a professional attorney.
Whoever you choose, you should discuss the appointment with them, to ensure that they are happy to take it on.
Choosing your children as your attorneys
If you decide to appoint your children, you should consider whether you believe they will cope with the role and if they have the necessary time to dedicate to the role.
Clearly, it will be important to take into account how well your children get along together as well as their skills when it comes to managing financial matters.
There are risks with just appointing one attorney so a small group is recommended so that you have options of any of your attorneys, dies, loses mental capacity, moves abroad or simply decides that they no longer want to act.
The job can be time-consuming and also require some financial acuity. It may be that some family members are more suited to the role than others simply because they have more time available or are more familiar with administrative tasks.
Talking about the future
As well as discussing the appointment with your potential attorneys, you should also give them some guidance as to how you would like your affairs dealt with.
This can be particularly important in respect of a health and welfare LPA, where your attorney will be making decisions about where you live, your day-to-day living and your medical care. You can leave guidance about whether or not you want to receive life-sustaining treatment, should the time come, but it is often good to have a conversation with your family and your attorney in advance so that they understand your wishes.
Putting an LPA in place can give you the peace of mind of knowing that trusted attorneys will step in should you become unable to manage your own affairs. It will also make matters easier for your family, who would otherwise have to make a time-consuming and expensive application to the court for the power to act on your behalf.
If you would like to speak to one of our expert lawyers about drawing up an LPA, call us on 01243 216900 or email us at email@example.com.
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