Who should I appoint as my attorney under a lasting power of attorney? Can I appoint more than one person?
It is very important that you choose your attorney(s) wisely. They will hold a great deal of power and responsibility to make decisions on your behalf. Your attorney must be aged 18 or over and should be someone you trust to carry out the role to make decisions in your best interests.
If you are appointing someone to deal with finances on your behalf, you need to consider how organised they are and how well they look after their own finances. It is a good idea to discuss your wishes with the person you are considering appointing as your deputy and give them time to consider what the role will involve and whether they have the ability and time to assist.
A non-professional attorney will only be able to claim back their expenses, such as travel costs and postage.
Your attorney could be your spouse or civil partner, family member, or close family friend. Alternatively, you can appoint a professional as your attorney, such as a solicitor.
It is possible to appoint as many attorneys as you want in your LPA. However, you need to consider the practicality of appointing more than one attorney. In particular, you need to decide whether they should act:-
- Jointly – this means that they need to work together and agree on all decisions. If they cannot agree, they cannot make the decisions.
- Jointly and severally – this means that they may act together, or on their own, as they choose.
It is open to you to specify in the LPA that certain important decisions, such as buying/selling property, should be taken jointly by all attorneys and that they can act jointly and severally for all other decisions, such as the day to day running of your finances, including the payment of bills.
If you have any queries regarding your LPA and are considering appointing a professional to be your attorney, our experienced Court of Protection team can assist.
Please see related posts from Nicola on whether you need an LPA, how to make an LPA, what type of decisions can be made under an LPA, bringing an LPA to an end, and how an LPA differs from an enduring power of attorney.