The role of an Attorney

By 31st October 2016 Attorneyship No Comments

What can an Attorney do?

Attorneys have very broad powers over financial affairs, acting with nearly the full legal authority as if they were an “extension” of the donor.  This can make scenarios with some lay attorneys very dangerous, providing vast powers without instant recourse to legal challenge in the event of abuse. Even loving relatives can misuse attorney powers.

Furthermore, attorneys have onerous responsibilities with regard to legal duties, administration and consultation. Even a well-meaning attorney can find themselves failing their “donor” and causing irreparable harm to that vulnerable person, opening themselves to litigation. It can be detrimental to the interests of not only the vulnerable individual, therefore, but also the attorney upon whom they have imposed this burden.

A professional attorney, conversely, will have the expertise, legal acumen and transparency to ensure that the interests of the donor are entirely met, mitigating any risk of abuse or negligence that could otherwise emerge.

 

Our role as a professional attorney

We will encourage you to make any decisions for yourself but will be here to help when required.

We can help with, inter alia:

  • Opening, closing or operating any bank / building society account
  • Buying or selling property
  • Claiming and using on your behalf all benefits, pensions, allowances and rebates
  • Receive income, inheritance or other entitlement and ensure it is used in your best interests
  • Manage your tax affairs
  • Pay your mortgage /rent and household expenses
  • Insure, maintain and repair your property
  • Invest your savings to achieve the best return
  • Make gifts to your family and friends for birthdays, weddings and at Christmas or continue making gifts to your preferred charity
  • Pay for private medical care and residential / nursing home fees
  • Apply for any entitlement to funding for NHS care, social care or adaptations
  • Obtain any equipment or other help you may need

 

If you ask us, or it becomes necessary, to help with household bills and living expenses we can contact the companies concerned and deal directly with them, leaving you with the peace of mind that everything is in hand.

 

What are our duties as your Attorney?

 

Our chief duties in protecting your financial affairs are:

  • To keep accounts and protect your money
  • To comply with the directions of the Court of Protection
  • To keep your affairs confidential

 

However, crucial to these responsibilities, we need to act under a very strict duty of care towards you:

 

  • To follow the legal statutory principles imposed by the Mental Capacity Act

We have a legal responsibility to follow the legislation and to help you make decisions regarding your finances with minimal intervention. This helps you to maintain control for as long as you feel able to but with the reassurance that we are there to help you as much as you need.

  • To act in your best interests

We always have your best interests in mind when helping you make decisions or making decisions on your behalf. We take into account your views and beliefs, and may consult family and friends who also take an active interest in your welfare.

  • To only make decisions that we have the authority to make

We take into account any restrictions you may have written into your LPA. Under a Property and Affairs LPA we cannot make decisions about your personal care or medical treatment.

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