Legal advice from Kristel Clarke, Private Client Solicitor based at FDR Law’s office in Warrington
Q: Can I apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney document myself or do I need a solicitor?
A: A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document that you make while you have full capacity to cover the risk that one day you won’t. You appoint people you trust, named as your Attorneys to manage your affairs in the event that you can’t manage them in the future or with your permission while you have capacity.
The Attorney plays a vital role in managing your affairs and safeguarding your interests.
It has become increasingly popular for these documents to be created at home and more recently online and without any professional assistance. This is causing concern as the person making the LPA is not advised about who should be appointed, how many Attorneys to appoint, the nature of the appointment – joint, joint and several or sole appointment and other issues.
There were 1729 investigations into the actions of Attorneys and Deputies by the Office of the Public Guardian in 2017/18. This is an increase of over 500 from the previous year. The concern with DIY and Online applications for Lasting Power of Attorney is the risk of abuse.
Specialist advice should be taken when creating a Lasting Power of Attorney to help prevent problems relating to financial abuse and save money in the long term.
A specialist Solicitor will ensure that your best interests are considered when creating the Lasting Power of Attorney and allow for restrictions and/or guidance to be included where necessary.