A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives another person, known as an attorney, the authority to make certain decisions for you in the event of you losing capacity.These decisions can relate to your finances and/or your health and welfare.

It is important that careful thought is given to selecting the attorney or attorneys that you wish to appoint. It's a position of great responsibility with strict duties and so you need to make sure that you fully trust your attorney to look after your affairs and act in your best interests.

It is very common that the attorneys appointed are the children and or a close family friend.

For most people this works perfectly well. Family members tend to want the best for you and already know what your wishes are and what they would like to happen.They may be already assisting with managing finances, etc.

It doesn't automatically follow that a family member is a suitable choice.They may not have the time or it may be too emotional or stressful for them to make decisions on behalf of their parents. Perhaps they don't get on with their siblings and do not want to battle with them over decisions that they have to make.

They may not always get it right, intentionally or not.There is a mechanism in place to protect people from an unsuitable attorney. The Office of Public Guardian oversees attorneys and can investigate complaints or concerns about them, e.g. misuse of money or decisions that are not in the best interests of the person they are responsible for.

It is an important decision and one that requires due thought.

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