Q. As I am getting older and a little frail my niece suggested that I grant her Lasting Power of Attorney, which she says, can be done easily online. I trust her implicitly but should I seek legal advice first?
A. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a powerful legal document that allows you to appoint a trusted individual(s) to make important decisions about healthcare and finances on your behalf. You can create these documents online, however there is new evidence suggesting that anyone creating a Lasting Power of Attorney in this way might face a higher risk of their Lasting Power of Attorney being ineffective or becoming subject to fraud or coercion.
Seeking legal advice can help safeguard you against the implications of an ineffective or badly drafted document. You might find yourself feeling pressured into making choices that you are not comfortable with, or have to pay for additional application fees if the documents contain mistakes.
You are sensible to be planning ahead in this way and granting a LPA is a big responsibility for both parties, so I would recommend taking professional legal advice where your options can be fully explained to you for consideration.
Associate Solicitor Andrea Beesley-Hewitt is a fully-accredited member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), for advice on Wills, LPAs or Probate matters please call 01780 750 952 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.