With the ever-growing power of the internet and the constant desire to make financial savings, the amount of DIY legal forms on offer has never been greater, so what are the risks? Is the potential short-term financial benefit worth the consequences of not seeking professional advice?

Whist a DIY LPA might appear to be a more cost-effective method, if there are any mistakes on the form or a signature is illegible, it will be rejected and must be resubmitted at an additional fee. If mistakes go unnoticed, the LPA could be rejected at the time of use. Banks, utility providers, Doctors and other professionals have stringent checks, and if a mistake was made in the drafting of the LPA – they will not accept it. This could cause significant delays and stress at the time when the LPA is designed to relieve just that.

The role of a professional is to draft the document correctly, manage communication with the Office of The Public Guardian, and provide counsel and support to the donor. Professionals can also ensure the attorneys know their duties and the limits of their powers, e.g., making gifts or investing. There is a real danger with DIY LPA’s that a donor could be persuaded to sign something without fully realising the repercussions.

A valid LPA must include a certificate from an independent third party confirming that the donor understands the purpose of the LPA and the powers
conferred by it. They also confirm no undue influence or fraud is being used to manipulate the donor into creating the LPA, acting as a safeguard. If you use a Professional, they will provide this certificate for you.