- Ensure clients understand the real life impact and full scope of enduring powers of attorney.
- It is preferable not to make an enduring power of attorney than to make one appointing someone unsuitable.
- Use a checklist when making enduring powers of attorney to help manage risk and protect your client.
With our aging population, more and more clients are encouraged to make enduring powers of attorney, appointing someone they trust to look after their financial affairs if the need arises. However preparing an enduring power of attorney presents challenges and risks, and the consequences that may arise from issues such as doubtful capacity to make a power of attorney, failure to keep accounts, or unauthorised transactions by the attorney can have long lasting implications for both practitioners and clients. As a practitioner, developing a checklist of practical issues to consider or raise with your client can be an effective way to manage risks and protect yourself and your clients.
Tip 1: Identify your client
We have become used to verifying the identity of clients in property transactions; making a power of attorney should be no different, particularly if the client is not already well known to you. Practitioners should confirm their client’s identity by performing the requisite checks.