Do I need a solicitor to set up a power of attorney?
No, you do not need a solicitor to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney
(LPA). For instance, if you prefer, you could get someone else who you trust to complete the online form or paper version to set up a power of attorney. This could be a friend, family member or solicitor.
However, because the LPA is a binding legal document that will impact your financial and healthcare decisions, it’s important that it is drafted and registered correctly with the Office of Public Guardian
and checked by a solicitor.
Using a solicitor rather than applying yourself will ensure that there are fewer risks of mistakes being made or the law not being fully understood because of the legal terminology that is used in the application process. Setting up a power of attorney can take up to 20 weeks and requires the signatures of witnesses.
What is lasting power of attorney?
An LPA is a separate legal document from someone’s Will
, and it allows you to appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf while you are alive. The people who are appointed are known as attorneys, and they will be able to make decisions about your medical treatment and day-to- day health care. An attorney can also make decisions about your finances and property which can include selling your property, collecting your benefits and paying your bills.
When do you set up an LPA?
The important point to remember is that you can only appoint an attorney to look after your affairs whilst you understand the nature and effect of the document. So, if you should suffer an unexpected loss of mental capacity, with the LPA already in place, the attorney can step in immediately to take care of your finances and health care decisions.
Unfortunately, without the LPA in place, your next of kin can only get the legal authority to manage your affairs through a long and costly process of applying for a court order.
LPA situations to consider
It’s important when drafting the LPA to consider a number of different situations, including:
- The attorney dies before the applicant
- Whether to appoint one or more attorneys
- Should the attorneys act jointly or together
- What if joint decisions are made, but one attorney is unable to act?
What are the benefits of using a solicitor to draft your LPA?
As the LPA is a legally binding document, it is important to contemplate these different scenarios (mentioned above) and make sure that the LPA is drafted by a professional legal expert. A poorly drafted document could prove to be invalid or ineffective.
It’s also best to think of the LPA as an insurance policy and plan ahead, so that if someone
suffers an accident or becomes ill, they can be reassured by the thought that their wishes are
being carried out and important decisions are being made correctly.
One of the most common reasons for power of attorney rejections is due to inaccurate documents being submitted or mistakes being made in the application process. To save time and money, it can be a good idea to ask a professional LPA solicitor to set up the power of attorney on your behalf.
How Can GloverPriest Help?
At GloverPriest, we provide friendly and transparent legal advice. If you would like further advice on power of attorney, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our expert lawyers today. Complete our enquiry form.