DIY Lasting Powers of Attorney documents - Private Client Solicitors

DIY Lasting Powers of Attorney documents

We often hear “You don’t need a solicitor to do them, you can do them yourself – they are really easy and no fees”

The government have made the forms look super simple which lures people into thinking that means the documents are simple but we all know nothing is ever simple in life! There are lots of traps that lay people fall into which can then render the documents invalid resulting in an application to the court of protection being required. This is both time consuming, paper heavy and costly.

The whole point of having LPAs is to ensure that someone can take over your affairs without hassle or issue and that it’s someone you’ve chosen. Usually if the LPAs aren’t correct or defective it will be too late to resolve simply and can only be rectified by an application to Court.

Every lay prepared LPA I’ve seen has not contained any powers to deal with assets under discretionary management – a key power most attorneys would need and assume they have when managing someone’s affairs. Without specific wording inserted into the LPA, the attorney would have to apply to court for permission to invest assets on this basis or if they had already done it, should obtain retrospective consent from the court.

If there is ever a conflict between family members as to the preparation of the LPA and the certificate provider isn’t someone with knowledge and understanding of mental capacity law (such as a doctor or specialist solicitor) it’s unlikely they will convince a judge on the balance of probability that the document should remain in place. When lay people prepare the documents it’s normally a neighbour or friend who they ask and when it comes to the crunch they have no recollection of the documents being signed, what they meant and certainly no file note to produce evidencing the position! In this scenario the LPA will be revoked and an application to court to appoint a deputy instead is required.

We are also noticing a lot of issues are starting to be raised (usually once the donor of the LPA has died) and say the attorney was one of three children, the other two children are alleging that any money spent by the lay attorney (perhaps in good faith but without proper records) be taken from their share of the estate. The burden is on the attorney to keep proper records and comply with the legislation otherwise they are personally liable and can face criminal sanctions.

Being an attorney is an onerous task and having the forms prepared correctly is more than what it seems. PCS prepare all types of powers of attorney, our Partners will act as professional attorneys when required and all of our qualified solicitors can act as certificate providers. We will also run LPA matters for lay individuals who have been appointed but would prefer to protect themselves and receive advice, guidance and annual accounts throughout their appointment to ensure any decisions they make are recorded and comply with the current legislation. We also offer bespoke one off pieces of advice to attorneys in relation to gifting and inheritance tax.

Email us at or call us on 07854 272 414 to have an initial no obligation chat.