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Powers of Attorney (Part 2) - My Top Tip

Posted: 28th April 2015   In: Wills, Trusts and Probate

My first article gave a brief outline of what a Power of Attorney is and why you might need one. Here let us think about the attorney – who it might be and how many you can have.

Whichever type of Power of Attorney you decide to create the single most important question is “Who will be the attorney?” The extent of the authority you might give to the attorney can be so great that you may be placing your entire financial wellbeing and security in the attorney’s hands. So, it is fundamental that the person you choose to be your attorney is trustworthy beyond question.

It is true that you can impose restrictions on the powers given and, of course, the Power of Attorney can be limited to particular assets. However, I believe that a Power of Attorney works best when it is wide-ranging allowing it to be used in whatever circumstances that may arise. Consequently, the success of the arrangement depends significantly upon this one choice.

You can appoint one attorney or more than one attorney. If you choose more than one then you must decide if the attorneys can act independently of each other. This, generally, is most convenient, however there may be circumstances where you might rather state that all the attorneys have to agree to particular acts.

In many cases the choice of attorney will be self-evident, usually a close family member, but it can be a trusted friend. In cases where there are no suitable candidates then a professional attorney would be appropriate.

Solicitors offer independent, impartial and confidential advice and I believe that we can often be best placed to advise on the procedure for creating Power of Attorney and helping you make the right decisions on the various issues that you need to think about.

Next time, further issues including what happens if your attorney is unable to act.

This article first appeared in the Sight Concern, Bedfordshire 'News and Views' magazinen (April/May 2015).  For further information please visit www.sightconcern.org.uk

Posted by: Nigel Gibson-Birch
Private Client
Luton Office