When choosing an attorney, it is important to give careful consideration as to who you appoint.
The Choice of Attorney
When choosing an attorney, it is important to give careful consideration as to who you appoint. Although you can revoke an appointment whilst you have the mental capacity to do so, the whole point of a Lasting Power of Attorney is that they endure beyond that point. At that point, you will have given your attorney power that you can not then control.
Whilst all attorneys are under the nominal control of the Office of the Public Guardian, in practice, their supervision is limited.
In a host of circumstances, the person wishing to appoint an attorney might fear that problems could arise if a family member is made attorney. Often the worry is that in doing so they might create conflict within the family.
To avoid conflict the person who should appoint an attorney might simply put off the decision. However, that simply defers the dispute until the time when the person appointing the attorney is unable to resolve any issues.
For that reason, people often consider professional attorneys, who are independent and must comply with professional standards.
A specialist solicitor will also have some expertise in dealing with the complex issues that can arise on someone’s health declining. This might lead to enhanced health care, good choices around accommodation and ensuring full entitlements are claimed.
The downside of appointing a professional is that it is more expensive.
Costs of Professional Attorneys
A professional will want to have their fees paid. To do that the Lasting Power of Attorney must make provision for that within the deed. When drafting the power, it is important to have a frank conversation about costs.
Legal costs are usually charged at an hourly rate for the time spent working on the matter. Some cases are more complex than others and events are hard to predict, but we always make sure that there is a clear understanding of what rate we would charge.
It is possible to agree on fixed costs for some elements of the work. It is also possible to stipulate that the professional is not in post until the person has lost capacity or some other event. Sometimes it is possible to plan a budget and agree that any variation would require approval from an outside person or that the costs should be reviewed independently, by the court or an arbitrator.
If you wish to discuss appointing a Professional Attorney, please contact us for a free-of-charge consultation.