Professional Attorney Programme
Earlier this year, the Office of the Public Guardian released a Practice Note named Acting as a Professional Attorney. One of the main points raised in this was that where professional Attorneys are appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney, they should keep in contact with the Donor (the person who created the Power of Attorney document) to ensure records of the donor’s wishes, feelings and beliefs are kept up to date.
The Tax and Estate Planning team at Docklands Solicitors has recently introduced the Professional Attorney Programme which allows us to maintain regular contact with Donors who have appointed Directors of the firm as their professional Attorneys. This is now a requirement for all clients appointing us as their professional Attorneys, so that we comply with our professional obligations and offer the best service we can to our clients.
Members of the Professional Attorney Programme will be contacted by the Tax & Estate Planning team on an annual basis and given the opportunity to meet with their appointed professional Attorney. This gives the client the opportunity to discuss their affairs with their professional Attorney to ensure their instructions are up to date, and also gives the client the assurance that their professional Attorney will be able to act in their best interests. If a professional Attorney is appointed alongside family members, the client can discuss their preferences as to how the joint appointment is to work in practice in the future.
The Professional Attorney Programme also allows the professional Attorney to review the client’s mental capacity and ability to deal with their own affairs to ensure they can act on the client’s behalf under the Power of Attorney at the appropriate time.
If you wish to obtain any further information or wish to discuss the preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney, or enrolment onto the Professional Attorney Programme for existing Lasting or Enduring Powers of Attorney, please contact our Tax and Estate Planning team on 020 7531 2990.