The perils of the DIY Lasting Power of Attorney

"Yeah I know LPA's are a good idea, but I can do that myself.... can't I?"

Oh, if I only had the proverbial pound for every time I'd heard this one! There are lots of things we could do ourselves, but that doesn't automatically mean that we should do it ourselves.

Dentistry. Electrical work. Plumbing, or at least anything involving gas. Mending our own parachute. And, unless you're like me, bald as a coot and have been since my early 20's, cutting our own hair - all things best left to professionals. Professionals are people who are (generally) good enough at a particular task to be able to charge for the work they do. As my Nan would say, if you think it's expensive having a professional do a job, just wait until you see the cost of letting an amateur do it...

Lasting Powers of Attorney are incredibly powerful, legal documents. Due to their very nature, which is to help protect and look after a vulnerable person, it is vital that they are drafted correctly. I dealt with a couple last year who have a property portfolio worth over £1M; had I not been able to advise them, they would have created an absolute nightmare scenario for themselves by choosing the wrong options on their LPA's. The benefit of my knowledge saved them from certain disaster.

Not fully understanding the outcomes of choosing certain options on the LPA forms could result in them becoming totally redundant, and leave a person without any attorneys at all. At this point, unless their loved ones applied for a Deputyship, it would be down to social services that would be responsible for their well-being.

So yes, it is something you could attempt yourself. But better to spend a penny on the right advise than lose the pounds later on.

To speak to one of our friendly advisors about your own personal circumstances, call 01925 321 231, or email

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