What legal responsibilities do I have as an attorney?

If you are named as an attorney for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), you will be required to sign the form, agreeing to act on the behalf of an individual (the ‘donor’) should they lose the mental capacity to make their own decisions, or (in the case of a property and financial affairs LPA) if they decide that they no longer want to handle some or all of their own affairs.

There are two types of LPA, one of which concerns decisions about property and finance, the other, decisions about health and welfare. Both of them are extremely powerful legal documents, allowing you as an attorney to make important decisions about the management of the donor’s property, bank accounts, and bill payments, and choices around their care plans, medical treatment, and end of life wishes.

Your primary responsibility as an attorney is to act in the best interests of the donor, following their expressed wishes and preferences regarding decisions about both their assets and their wellbeing. To fully understand and consider the implications of agreeing to act as an attorney, it is strongly recommended that you (along with the donor and any other attorneys) seek advice from a specialist solicitor before making an LPA application.