(July 2021) It is possible to make a Power of Attorney online, but whether you should is an entirely different matter. The process of making a Power of Attorney seems straightforward, but for those who are unfamiliar with the process, there are many potential pitfalls which could result in your application being rejected or your wishes not being carried out correctly. In this article, we look at some of the common difficulties we see when clients attempt to make a Power of Attorney online.
There are many ways to make a Power of Attorney online, with a variety of businesses looking to provide the service. It can be difficult to know whether these businesses are legitimate, and the level of service and assistance offered varies greatly.
For a Power of Attorney to be valid, it must be signed by any attorneys nominated as well as witnesses. The Power of Attorney must also be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian otherwise it will not be valid.
When you use a solicitor to set up your Power of Attorney, you can be confident that it will be set up correctly and tailored to meet your needs and circumstances.
Your solicitor will not only set up the Power of Attorney but can also provide you with essential advice.
For example, they can help you decide who you should appoint as your attorney, ensure that they are willing and able to act, and understand their duties and obligations as an attorney.
Your solicitor can also help you to set out clearly how your Power of Attorney should operate. Can attorneys make decisions alone, or must they make decisions jointly with others? How should the Power of Attorney operate if assets are owned jointly or held abroad? Do you need a separate power of attorney to cover your business interests? These are just some of the questions that may arise during discussions with a solicitor that are often overlooked when people attempt to set up a Power of Attorney using an online service.
You may also wish to set out your wishes for how your affairs should be managed; a solicitor will help you to express any wishes you have clearly. They can also advise on how these should be set out to ensure that all eventualities are covered, and your wishes can be carried out.
Your solicitor will explain the effects of a Power of Attorney to you clearly to ensure that you understand, which can prevent the validity of the Power of Attorney from being challenged at a later date. They can also advise you on any additional steps you may wish to take, such as revising your will or inheritance tax planning.