Choosing an attorney

The role of an attorney involves a great deal of power and responsibility so it’s important that you trust the person you choose.
Think carefully about whether there’s someone you believe would be able to carry out the role and make decisions in your best interests. Give the person you ask time to think about the role, to make sure that they are making the right decision.

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Who can you choose to be your attorney?

You can have whoever you wanted to be your attorney as long as you have full confidence that you can trust that person with all your important information and you will also need to trust that person to make the right decision for you in the future if you were unable to do so.

Your desired attorney must be 18 or over and you are also able to have "back-up" attorneys if your current attorney ever decides that they are unable to successfully complete the role or if they do not have the mental capacity to do so.

Joint attorney

A joint attorney is when you have allocated multiple attorneys, this means you can decide how you want your attorneys to work:

  • Jointly - this means they all work together and make joint decisions
  • Jointly and severally - where they may act together or separately, as they choose.

You can specify in the lasting power of attorney that the attorneys must act jointly for specific decisions, such as selling a house, and jointly and severally for all other decisions.

Jointly in some matters/Separately for others

Acting jointly with regards to some matters and separately with regards to others. For example property sales would require both but the diet could be settled by one.

However, when making decisions on behalf of you the attorney must adhere to the mental capacity act. This covers the following:

  • Any actions taken on your behalf must be in your best interest.
  • Must consider all your wishes both past and present.
  • Must not take advantage to benefit themselves
  • All of your money and your attorney’s money should be kept separate

If the attorney fails anyone of these things the LPA can be cancelled. The matter will also be investigated by the OPG and the Attorney could potentially be prosecuted.