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Lasting Powers of Attorney: how to make your wishes clear

If you are considering making Lasting Powers of Attorney, you may be wondering how your attorneys (the people you allow to make decisions on your behalf) will act.

Attorneys have a duty to make decisions that are in your best interests, and this involves them considering what your wishes would be. This may be straightforward if your attorneys have a close, personal relationship with you. One option is to express your wishes verbally to your attorneys whilst you still have mental capacity. Alternatively, you could express these wishes in writing for the avoidance of doubt.

The Lasting Power of Attorney forms allow you to specify your wishes on a wide range of subjects, such as the types of companies that they invest your money in and the types of medical treatment you receive.

Preferences

This section can be used to tell your attorneys how you would like them to make decisions. Your attorneys are not legally bound to follow these wishes and so words like ‘must’ and ‘shall’ should not be included.

Examples of preferences are:

Property and Financial Affairs

  • If my attorney(s) make investments on my behalf, I would like them to invest in companies which operate sustainably.
  • I wish to make a donation of £200 a year to RSPCA.

Health and Welfare

  • If my Spouse and I both require residential care, I wish to be placed in the same home as them and to have a room in close proximity to them.
  • I would like to have an appointment with my hairdresser once a fortnight.

Instructions

This section can be used to tell your attorneys what they must do when acting on your behalf. Your attorneys are bound to follow your instructions and so it is important to use words like ‘must’ and ‘have to’ when communicating your wishes.

Examples of instructions are:

Property and Financial Affairs

  • My attorneys must not make gifts totalling more than £3,000 per financial year.
  • My attorneys must send an annual statement of account to my sister.

Health and Welfare

  • I instruct my attorneys not to make the decision to move me into a care home or residential care unless they have been advised by a Doctor or my GP that I can no longer live independently.
  • My attorneys must ensure that I eat a vegan diet.

You do not need to complete these parts of the form but, if you do, it is crucial that they are carefully drafted to avoid the application being rejected.

Finally, anything you put in these parts of the form will be legally binding on your attorneys. This means you must update your Lasting Powers of Attorney if a preference or instruction no longer reflects your wishes.

If you would like to discuss making Lasting Powers of Attorney, please feel free to contact a member of our team today on 0113 207 0000.

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Emily Owston

Paralegal
Wills & Probate
EOwston@LawBlacks.com
0113 227 9263
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