Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are a vital tool in planning for the future. None of us know if a time will come when illness or an accident will prevent us making decisions for ourselves. Having an LPA in place ensures we have people we can trust taking care of our finances and also making important decisions about our healthcare to ensure our best interests are protected when we are vulnerable.
However, for some people this presents a dilemma: what if there is no one to act as Attorney for them? This could be for a number of reasons:
- Although you have children or siblings, your relationship with them is not great so you do not want them involved in your affairs. Or it may be that their relationship with each other is bad and if you appoint one over the other, that will cause friction between them, and you do not trust them to act together in your best interests.
- It may be that you don’t have any close family whom you could appoint.
- Your financial affairs are complicated and you would feel more confident entrusting it to professional Attorneys.
- You would prefer to have someone who is not emotionally involved to ensure your wishes are carried out for your healthcare.
In any of these scenarios it is worth appointing a professional Attorney to act for you. We have many years of experience at Grant Saw in acting as Attorneys and would be delighted to take on this role for you. There are a number of important advantages to this:
- Our only concern will be to protect your interests. We will have a duty to ensure that your finances are well looked after and any wishes you have expressed about the healthcare you would like are carried out as far as possible within the law.
- A completely independent Attorney to manage your finances can also be in the best interests of your children or nearest family. It will avoid disagreements within the family on how your money should be invested and can assist in keeping good relationships with all in the family.
- If you have no family it can be a huge source of relief and comfort to know that there is somebody helping you to take care of things when it is hard for you to do so – or to know that if you get to that point in your life there will be somebody on your side. If you have told us how you would like to be cared for when you can no longer take those decisions for yourself, we will ensure those wishes are carried out.
One factor that may prevent you considering appointing a professional Attorney is the cost. However, the initial cost is drawing the paperwork up is the same as it would be for any other client who instructed us to draw up LPAs. After that, once they had been registered, we will meet with you annually to review your situation and see if there is anything that we need to do for you at that stage. For many clients, that is sufficient: they are still able to manage their own affairs. There is a small annual charge for this check in. Once you need us to be active in managing finances, our usual hourly charges apply – but of course we will want to ensure that bank accounts are set up so that regular payments continue, and we only need to step in when big decisions need to be taken.
The consequences of not having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place can put you in a very vulnerable position. If one of the reasons you have put off the decision about appointing someone is the lack of a person to take on the role, we would urge you to consider appointing a professional Attorney. If you would like to discuss having Grant Saw appointed as your Attorney or for advice on a specific Private Client matter, please email email@example.com or contact the team on 020 8858 6971.