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Do I have to pay for each attorney in my LPA?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is the document you use to appoint trusted people called Attorneys, to act on your behalf in the event that you can't do something yourself. When it comes to cost, many people ask “Do I have to pay more for each Attorney that I would like to appoint?”

There are no limits to how many Attorneys you can appoint in an LPA, some appoint just one or two, others have five or six, it's entirely up to you. There are lots of considerations as to why you might only have a couple and there might be reasons why you might want to have six, seven, eight or nine. One of the biggest problems are clients whose decision is affected by mistakenly believing it is going to cost them more for each attorney they appoint. The truth is that the cost should be the same no matter how many people you appoint, you only pay for the LPA document itself to be set up and registered.

When I’m setting up an LPA for a client, it doesn’t make a massive difference whether there are two or ten attorneys and so it is not fair or right to charge more for it. As professionals we should try to encourage you appoint as many attorneys as you'd wish and not skimping to save on cost. Therefore the standard across our industry it to charge per document, not per Attorney. In addition when it is time to register the documents you won't be charged more by the Office of the Public Guardian for each attorney.

Too often I've reviewed old EPAs/LPAs where only one attorneys have been appointed. By the time I've carried out the review their sole attorney is no longer alive or fit to act. In these cases they have to start the whole process again because you can not add attorneys to an exisitng power of attorney. Clearly it would have been far better to have named three, maybe even four attorneys if possible. The most important thing though is that you trust these people and that they are willing to be your attorney, there is no point in naming lots who don't fulfill both criteria.

It is common for clients to have preferred Attorneys and others who they would turn to if push comes to shove. LPAs are pretty flexible and can accomodate this by providing Main and Reserve attorney options. Only the main attorneys can act for you initially with the reserves stepping only under the conditions you specifiy (usually if all main attorneys can no longer act).

So rather than only appointing the two people who are closest to you, simply appoint the first two as your main attorneys and others as your reserves.

If anyone tells you they charge extra for each attorney, I'd strongly question whether or not you should be using them.