Who should you appoint to make decisions for you?

An LPA, or Lasting Power of Attorney, is a powerful legal document allowing you to appoint one or more people (an Attorney) to make decisions on your behalf should the time come that you’re unable to do so. It’s an essential step to ensure your wishes are carried out.

SFE Director, Elaine Roche, recently appeared on ITV’s programme Cheats, Fiddles and Scams: Protecting your Family which highlighted the importance of choosing the right person or people to make decisions for you.

Here is some advice on how to choose from Chair of SFE, Michael Culver, in an article for This is Money.

“An LPA is a powerful legal document which enables major decisions about an individual’s finances or care to be made by a nominated person, often a trusted friend or relative.

Appointing the wrong person can cause untold stress and lasting impacts from decisions made through incompetence or untrustworthiness. Usually, people want to nominate their children, but it’s important to be sure their circumstances and personal skills are conducive to carrying out their duties as an attorney.

How good someone is at managing their own money, how far away they live from the person they’re acting for and what availability they have around busy jobs or childcare commitments, are all key considerations when deciding who should take on the role.

Most people opt for a 'joint and several LPA' which means two people are nominated as an attorney and decisions will require joint agreement in some areas or individually in others. But it’s important not to appoint two attorneys who don’t get along, are likely to disagree on big decisions, or live a distance away from each another.

Alarm bells should ring if the initial request for an LPA comes from a family member, friend or an external party, rather than the individual themself, especially if it’s likely to be needed soon.”

Fully Accredited SFE members undertake considerable additional training to become specialists in supporting people to create LPAs, and to spot potential risks to older and vulnerable people who might be about to appoint an unsuitable Attorney.

Find out more about Powers of Attorney: https://sfe.legal/Public/How-can-we-help/Powers-of-Attorney/


Michael Culver

Chair of SFE and Partner at Bolt Burdon Solicitors