Lasting Power of Attorney: 5 Top Tips for Acting as an Attorney
There is lots of advice about how to become someone’s attorney; the application process and the pitfalls to avoid to ensure the application isn’t rejected, but there is very little guidance as to what to do when you have to act as an attorney.
Whilst the fundamental principles of operating under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) are governed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (the Act), practical day-to-day guidance is hard to come by.
Below we have detailed our top 5 tips for acting as an attorney below:
- Check with the donor!
The Act states that an Attorney must assist the donor in making their own decisions if possible. This should always be your starting point. Always check with the Donor and help them make as many of their own decisions as they can. This may not always be possible, but it would be helpful to keep a record of the decisions made for future reference and how much involvement the donor was able to have.
It is useful to keep a record of decisions made, money spent and all actions taken. This may seem excessive in some circumstances but will allow you to answer any questions raised during your attorneyship and provide an accurate record of the hard work you are undertaking to assist the donor.
Selling a Property?
Be mindful of selling the property below market value, gifting the property or purchasing the property yourself. These types of actions may raise questions and it would be advisable to seek legal advice before proceeding.
Acting under a Health and Welfare LPA
If anyone else is involved in the Donor’s care, you must let them know once you start acting under this LPA. This includes carers, social workers, other family and friends and GPs or other involved healthcare providers used by the Donor.
Considering making gifts?
It is acceptable to make gifts to friends and family on occasions such as birthdays and Christmas if the donor can afford these gifts. Try to follow the donor’s previous history of gifting, for example, if they historically gifted £20 on birthdays, maintain this consistency. Remember if you are considering larger gifts, you must always apply to the Court of Protection for permission.
Being an Attorney comes with a large amount of responsibility. If you have any concerns or would like some guidance and assistance, please do get in contact with Ann-Marie Aston, Partner at The Wilkes Partnership at [email protected] or 0121 733 8000.