Making an Attorneys life easier
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has issued updated advice for those appointed attorneys for both Property & Financial and Health & Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney. When I've worked with clients in the past there has often been a lack of understanding on the exact role of an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Whilst many people take on this role when asked they rarely check what their responsibilities are or when they can act.
By publishing updated guidance for Attorneys the OPG is providing useful guidance and explaining the type of actions that Attorneys can take. One of the key pieces of advice is to talk directly to the donor (the person executing a POA) in order to understand how they currently manage their affairs and what the Attorney would need to do if the donor was to lose mental capacity (note that Attorneys for a Property & Financial LPA's can act for the donor even if the donor still has capacity if registration allows that).
For Health & Welfare LPA's Attorneys can only act once the donor has lost mental capacity. Clearly, this makes it even more important for Attorneys to discuss their responsibilities with the donor before they are called to act.
The OPG guidance stresses the point that any decision taken by an Attorney (whether acting jointly or severally) must be in the best interests of the donor. If an Attorney has not been able to discuss the donor wishes before mental capacity was lost then they should discuss what needs to be done with family members of the donor wherever possible.
For guidance on Health & Welfare LPA's readers should go to https://www.gov.uk/…/getting-started-as-an-attorney-health-….
For guidance on Property & Financial LPA's readers should go to https://www.gov.uk/…/getting-started-as-an-attorney-propert…