Understanding the legal jargon: who can be an Attorney?
You can choose a family member, friend, spouse or partner to be your Attorney. You can also ask a professional, such as a solicitor or accountant that you know well. The important thing is that you select someone that you trust, as you will be giving them full responsibility and power over your affairs. Just like appointing Executors for your Will, it’s important to talk to the person about it first and ensure they are happy to do it.
It can be helpful to appoint more than one Attorney. If you do so, you’ll need to decide if you want them to work jointly – meaning they work together on all matters, or jointly and severally – where they may act together or separately, as they choose or on specific matters. For example, you may want to specify that they must act jointly for major decisions such as selling your house, but they can act jointly and severally for all other decisions such as disposing of your possessions when the time comes.
Remember that you don’t have to be unwell or elderly to appoint an Attorney. The role of the Attorney is to support you and enable you to make your own decisions for as long as you possibly can. Only when you are unable, will they step in to make decisions on your behalf and ensure your wishes are respected.
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