Power of Attorney: Making your wishes clear
Masayo Crumbie is a chartered legal executive in the private client team. She can be contacted on 01323 434414 or by email here
If you are considering giving Power of Attorney to a loved one, we understand that this may feel overwhelming. There are many considerations, including choosing someone you trust to carry out your wishes and conduct your affairs as you would want. Choosing the right attorney, and making your wishes clear to them, is an essential part of the Power of Attorney process and can help you move forward in your life with confidence. In this article, we look at how to approach the discussion and how to ensure your wishes are clearly communicated when giving Power of Attorney.
Addressing your concerns about giving Power of Attorney
Creating a Power of Attorney is essential for planning for the future. Unfortunately, life is unpredictable, and in the future, you may need someone to make decisions for you and carry out actions on your behalf should you lose the capacity to do so for yourself. A Power of Attorney is designed to provide peace of mind, but we understand that you may still be apprehensive. What if your attorney doesn’t know what to do? What if they do not follow your instructions? Concerns about Power of Attorney are very normal, and there are steps you can take to make the process straightforward for your attorney, providing them with clarity about their role.
Choosing the right person to be your attorney
Most people have an idea about who they wish to be their attorney, but it is still important to consider your choice carefully. You should trust the person you choose to follow your wishes and have the common sense to manage your financial affairs and care confidently. You can also appoint more than one attorney. For example, you may have someone in mind who would be better at arranging everyday care and another who is better with financial decisions.
Discussing your wishes
We would recommend raising the issue with your family and loved ones before you make your Power of Attorney. They can then work with you to choose the best person for the role. They may raise concerns or issues that you had not considered. Discussing the Power of Attorney with your loved ones is also an opportunity to clarify your wishes. You should discuss both financial matters and care matters. Care matters may be where you would like to live, what you like to eat or the clothes you like to wear.
Setting out clearly how you would like your affairs to be managed
To give you additional peace of mind, you can also set out your wishes in a document known as an advanced statement. An advanced statement allows you to set out clear, written instructions. You may wish to include any wishes, preferences, values and beliefs about your future day-to-day care and medical care.