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How Many Attorneys Can I Have in an LPA?

30th June 2017

There is no limit to the number of people you can name as an Attorney when making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). You can also name Replacement Attorneys who can step in if one of the original Attorneys becomes unable or unwilling to act.

For initial advice on making a Lasting Power of Attorney call 03306069591 or contact us online and we will help you.

What is an Attorney in an LPA?

An Attorney is someone who you have decided should have the legal authority to deal with your affairs, should there ever come a time when you’re unable to deal with them yourself. You appoint an Attorney in a legal document called a ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’.

There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney – one covers health and welfare, and one covers property and financial affairs. You can have one or both types of Lasting Power of Attorney in place.

Once you have made a Lasting Power of Attorney then it needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian in order to be activated. If you have a Health and Welfare LPA then the person you have nominated to be your Attorney can only manage your affairs when you become unable to make decisions yourself – perhaps because of old age, illness or injury. If you have a Property and Finance LPA then you can choose whether your Attorney should be able to act for you now or only if you are unable to in the future.

If you have both types of Lasting Power of Attorney, you can choose the same Attorney/s for both, or you can choose different Attorneys for each. For instance, you might like one relative to manage your finances, but another to manage your day-to-day welfare.

Mirror Lasting Power of Attorneys are for couples to nominate each other or the same people to act as their Attorneys.

How Many Attorneys Should I Have?

Technically you can have as many Attorneys as you like but it is common to appoint between one and four Attorneys.

It’s advisable not to have too many Attorneys, as it can cause issues if lots of people are trying to act on your behalf at once. At the same time, it’s best not to have too few, or could find yourself in a position where there is no Attorney able to act.

For example, if you only appoint one Attorney and that person dies before you, you won’t have an Attorney in place. This would make your Lasting Power of Attorney ineffective. One way to avoid this is to put Replacement Attorneys in place (see below).

If you do decide to appoint more than one Attorney, you need to decide how you want them to act – either ‘jointly’ or ‘jointly and severally’. Jointly means that all your Attorneys have to make decisions together. Jointly and severally means that they can make decisions on their own, without the agreement of the other Attorneys.

Replacement Attorneys

When making a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can also name Replacement Attorneys. These people will step in if one of your original Attorneys can no longer act, perhaps because he/she has already passed away, is ill, or no longer wants to be your Attorney.

There are also times when an original Attorney won’t be able to act. This might happen if the original Attorney was your husband or wife and you’ve now divorced, or, in respect of a property and financial LPA, the original Attorney has been made bankrupt.

The Replacement Attorney will only be able to act in the way the original Attorney was appointed to act. So if your original Attorney was appointed to deal with both your health and welfare, and your property and finances, your Replacement Attorney will also be able to deal with both. And if the original Attorney had to act jointly with other Attorneys, the Replacement Attorney must also make decisions with the support of the other Attorneys.

For initial advice on making a Lasting Power of Attorney call 03306069591 or contact us online and we will call you.

Also see Top Tips for Making a Lasting Power of Attorney.

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