Have you made your Lasting Power of Attorney?

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Lucy Cox, an Assistant Solicitor in the Private Client Team at The Wilkes Partnership, discusses the considerations that should be made when making a Lasting Power of Attorney.

“A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is commonly only considered when a person needs assistance. In reality, everybody should consider having an LPA.

In July 2015, the LPA forms were simplified as part of the Office of the Public Guardian’s attempt to increase awareness and encourage everybody to make an LPA. However, when LPAs are prepared without legal advice, the donor is not always aware of the expectations that could be placed on attorneys and attorneys are therefore often not wholly prepared for what their roles involves.

Assuming the LPA has been correctly prepared and validly registered by the Office of the Public Guardian, the attorney will have to register the LPA with each of the financial institutions where the donor holds assets so that the institution has the authority to deal with the attorney. An attorney should keep the donor’s money separate to his or her own and records should be kept to show what decisions have been made and where the donor’s money has been spent as ultimately, the attorney may be accountable to the Office of the Public Guardian at any time. Attorneys are also restricted as to what gifts can be made on behalf of the donor and may be restricted in other ways in the LPA.

For more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact Lucy Cox or one of her colleagues at The Wilkes Partnership on 0121 733 8000.”