If you have an Attorney appointed to look after your welfare how can you be sure that they will act in the way they would want?
This is something that some of our older clients tell us worries them.
If they appoint an Attorney, how can they be sure that the Attorney will act in the way they would like?
Well of course Attorneys in their decision making are bound by a great deal of law. The import of that law is that the Attorney should carry on making the same sort of decisions as the person who appointed them would have made had they been able to make them themselves.
So far so good – and most people understand that. But we find sometimes that it is not the big legal decisions which people worry about – it is what we might loosely call “lifestyle decisions.” They worry that the Attorney may unknowingly change the day to day patterns of life which are important to the person appointing them. There is a way of dealing with that worry. It is for the person granting the Power of Attorney also to complete a “Letter of Wishes” which is effectively a guide to the Attorney as to lifestyle decisions.
This usually is a handwritten letter which should be referred to in the Power of Attorney and can even be registered with it. Such letters are not legally binding on the Attorney but they do give invaluable guidance to them.
Here are some examples of matters we have seen in letters of wishes. “If I have to go into care I do not want to share a room”. “I like to keep my finger nails short and filed”. “I like to wear clothing with elasticated waists”. “On Saturday nights I really like to watch Strictly Come Dancing.” “Every now and then, if possible, I like to go to the bingo” If such things are important to you – complete your own letter of wishes and of course communicate it to your chosen Attorney.
A reliable Attorney will follow these wishes where at all possible, and hopefully give greater peace of mind.