Two Tips for Those Who Want to Set up a Power of Attorney

If you have developed an illness which is likely to affect your mental capacity, if you are elderly and are nearing the end of your life or if you are being deployed by the army and will be abroad for a long period of time, you may need to arrange for a trustworthy person to make important decisions for you regarding your finances or health.

In this situation, you should set up a power of attorney with a solicitor to enable the chosen person to do this. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you decide to have this type of legal documentation drawn up.

Do not be hasty when deciding which person to give it to

It is crucial to take your time when deciding who to give power of attorney to; if you choose someone in haste, you may end up regretting this decision. For example, you should not choose someone based purely on your belief that they will not use their position of power to steal your money.

The reason for this is as follows; in addition to being exceptionally trustworthy and honest, the person you pick should also have a long history of making sensible financial and medical decisions in their own life. For instance, it would be best to give power of attorney to someone who has managed to avoid accumulating unnecessary debt, who is good at saving money and who has not had any issues with gambling or compulsive shopping.

Additionally, you should ensure that the person you select has taken the time to do their research and take heed of the advice of medical professionals before making major decisions regarding their own physical and mental health.

These are the qualities that indicate that a person has the ability to make sound, sensible decisions on your behalf and will not fritter away your money or inadvertently harm you by making hasty medical decisions for you.

Seek out advice from a solicitor when setting it up

There are 'kits' that you can buy that will allow you to set up power of attorney yourself. However, whilst this might be the cheaper option, it is not necessarily the best one. Ideally, you should seek out advice from a solicitor when you decide to create this legal document. The reason for this is as follows; a solicitor will be able to point out mistakes that you might not be able to spot.

For example, when helping you to draw up this documentation, they may notice that you are giving the appointed person an unnecessarily large amount of control over your finances, which could then cause problems later down the line if you and that person disagree about how to go about making an important financial decision.

They may also point out other errors, such as including stipulations that are illegal or using ambiguous language regarding what steps you want to have taken, in regards to medical interventions, if your health declines.

In short, seeking out the advice of a solicitor in this situation will ensure that this document is lawful and clarifies your exact wishes with no room for misinterpretation.