Many people believe that LPA’s are very simple to complete, particularly when appointing family members. However, it is very important when making LPA’s to consider the pitfalls of failing to pay attention to the detail. Lasting Power of Attorney’s are very simple to complete in theory, where people appoint their family members. We often deal with Attorneyships that have gone wrong as a result of the Donor’s failure to properly consider the identity of their Attorney or the actions taken by that person.
We find that our clients often assume that they should be appointing their children as Attorneys. It is not a good idea to appoint children without consideration as to their ability to make the tough decisions that may need taking in the future and whether they can be objective enough to manage your affairs with your best interests in mind.
We would advise that you consider placing guidance in your LPA and where appropriate restricting your Attorney’s authority to make certain types of decisions on your behalf. LPA’s that have been prepared very basically appointing family members can fail later on when decisions need to be taken and the family are either not prepared to make a decision, fall out, or do not have the relevant expertise to deal with the issue.
Providing guidance to them for a range of situations or restricting their authority to deal with your affairs in a particular way can enable smooth transition of the management of your affairs and ensure that you can have peace of mind that, should you ever not be able to manage your own affairs, they are in good hands, whoever you choose.
It is important to note that guidance and restrictions contained within an LPA need to be worded very carefully to ensure that they are compatible with your Attorney’s powers and duties to manage your affairs under your LPA. There is always a risk that badly drafted provisions can invalidate an LPA and we can prepare your LPA to ensure the best possible protection for you when needed.
For more information, contact your local Humphries Kirk office.