It is important to take time to think carefully about who to appoint as attorneys in your Health & Welfare LPA. ‘Attorneys’ are not necessarily legally qualified people but are, instead, trusted friends or family members who are chosen by you to make decisions about your health and welfare in the event that you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.
You can choose a minimum of one attorney and a maximum of four. If you appoint only one attorney you should also appoint at least one replacement in case the person you have appointed as your main attorney is unable or unwilling to act.
If you are appointing more than one attorney make sure they are people who would work well together as some, or all, of the decisions they are making may need to be made together.
In advisable to have a discussion, at least in broad terms, with your attorneys about your potential wishes, likes, dislikes, treatment preferences etc at the time of making your LPA so they are able to carry out your wishes, should the need arise, to the best of their ability and knowledge. You can also record these wishes and preferences within your LPA document.
Whilst you do not have to seek your attorneys permission to name them in your LPA, it is very good practice to do so. This way, not only are they able to let you know how they feel about being your attorney (perhaps giving you the opportunity to choose somebody else if they do not feel comfortable with the responsibility) but, as mentioned above, you will be able to discuss your wishes with them.
When it comes to the age of your potential attorneys, you can choose anybody over the age of 18. However, think carefully and realistically about appointing elderly friends or relatives (i.e. parents) in case they are themselves unable to act should the need arise.
Always appoint people you trust to act as your attorney. They will be making important decisions on your behalf so make sure the person or people you have in mind has your best interests at heart.
If you have any questions or have concerns about the mental capacity about a friend or family member, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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