Q&A Who can play what role when setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Q:      I am thinking of setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney but am confused about who I can have to play what role. E.g., can my son be an attorney and a beneficiary of my Will? And who can be a witness? Looking online I have found it quite baffling.

A:       Anyone over the age of 18 can be an attorney, provided they fully understand their responsibility in the role. Preferably, you should choose someone who can manage money and whom you trust. You can appoint attorneys who are known to you, or you can appoint a professional such as a solicitor.

An LPA is a document that operates in your lifetime, whereas a Will is a separate document which comes into effect upon a person’s death, therefore an attorney can also be a beneficiary of a Will made by the same person drawing up the LPA.

In respect of witnesses to an LPA, they must be over 18 and cannot be a named attorney. Their signature must also be witnessed by someone over the age of 18. Attorneys can witness each other’s signature, but the donor (the person whose LPA it is) cannot witness an attorney’s signature. Signing as a witness must be carried out in person and cannot be done online.

In addition to attorneys and witnesses you must also have a Certificate Provider. This is someone independent of the application. They must be over 18, not related to the donor or attorneys, and they must have known you for at least two years. Their role is to confirm that the donor has capacity, understands the effect of the LPA and confirm that the donor has not been put under any undue pressure to make the LPA.

There is a very specific order to signing an LPA document and you must ensure that this is done correctly before registering it.

This question has been answered by Katie Roberts, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194