Choosing an attorney- everything you need to know.
“Who can I choose as an attorney?”
You can appoint as many attorneys as you wish as long as they are over the age of 18, of sound mind and not a bankrupt. You should choose someone you trust implicitly to look after your affairs – this could be a family member, friend or a professional person.
It’s also worth being aware that you can appoint attorneys, but nominate replacement attorneys to step in, if for any reason, the original attorney cannot act on your behalf. This would make the Lasting Power of Attorney future proof.
“What types of decisions are covered by Lasting Powers of Attorney?”
There are 2 types of Lasting Powers of Attorney -
Property & Financial and Health & Welfare.
The Property & Financial document gives an attorney the authority to help the donor manage things like:
- Money and bills
- Bank and building society accounts
- Property and investments
- Pensions and benefits
The Health & Welfare document enables the attorney to help manage things like:
- Daily routine, eg. washing, dressing, eating
- Medical care
- Living arrangements, eg. whether the Donor lives at home or moves into a care home
- Making life-sustaining treatment decisions
A Health & Welfare LPA may only be used by the attorney if the donor loses mental capacity. Until then they retain total control.
“I’ve been appointed as an attorney, what do I do now?”
Talk to the Donor.
For Property & Financial matters, ask the donor how they look after their finances. For examples, do they:
- Give birthday gifts to children or other friends and family (how much)
- Like spending on clothes, music or trips
- Donate to particular charities (how much)
- Want to sell or rent out their home if they move in to a care home
- Prefer to keep a minimum bank balance?
Ask the Donor where they keep their financial information:
- Benefits, pension and tax letters
- Bills and bank or credit card statements
- The deeds of any property they own
- The LPA document
For Health & Welfare matters, ask the Donor about their likes and dislikes, for example:
- Any special diet (such as vegetarian)
- Where they want to live
- What will happen if they can’t care for their pets
- How they like to dress and wear their hair
- Hobbies and tastes in music, TV, radio or books
- If they prefer being indoors or outdoors
- Small things that cheer them up, such as favourite films, a crossword, a glass of wine or a walk.
The more you know, the better you’ll be able to decide on their behalf, if ever the donor can’t.
Also ask the Donor if they’ve made care plans:
- An advance decision to refuse specific treatments (sometimes called a ‘living Will’) that health and social care staff can follow.
- A statement of wishes and preferences about their care and treatment (this might be written or told to people).
Check if the Donor chose you in the LPA to refuse or consent to treatment to keep them alive. If it’s you, and they lose capacity:
- You can talk to doctors as though you were the Donor
- The LPA may replace any advance decision to refuse life-sustaining treatment.
Find out the Donor’s views on life-saving and other health and social care, including any restrictions or guidance in their LPA.
If you'd like any further information or have any questions, we are only a phone call way.
There are no silly questions here.
Tel: 01656 788922
Office: 18 Lias Road, Porthcawl, Bridgend CF36 3AH