What Can My Attorneys Do?
You can include two types of ‘notes’ in your Lasting Power of Attorney, to guide your Attorneys:
These are limits placed on how your Attorneys can act or instructions about how they should act. These are things they will have to follow exactly. If you wish to include any restrictions, you should consult an expert LPA Solicitor, as if these are not drafted properly, you could invalidate your LPA.
A few examples of instructions are:-
i. “My Attorneys must ensure that I am only given vegan food.”
ii. “My Attorneys must consult a financial advisor before making investments over £5,000.00.”
iii. “My Attorneys are only permitted to access my personal bank account and assets, and they are not permitted to make any decisions relating to my business or access any assets belonging to my business.”
These are things that your Attorneys should bear in mind, but not things that they will have to follow to the letter.
A few examples of preferences are as follows:-
i. “I prefer to live within a mile of my brother.”
ii. “I would like to exercise at least two times per week, whenever I am able to.”
iii. “I would like to keep a minimum balance in my bank account of £500.00, wherever possible.”
Can my Attorney deal with the sale of my Property?
First of all, as long as you have made an LPA relating to Financial Decisions, and it has been registered as a valid legal document, without any restrictions on how your Attorneys can act, they should be able to sell property on your behalf.
However, as with any Property Sale, if there is more than one owner, and one of the owners is unable to sign documents themselves, there would need to be another independent person who could make decisions on their behalf.
For example, if you appointed your partner to be your sole Attorney, and they wanted to sell a jointly owned property on both of your behalf, this may not be possible at first glance. In order to deal with the property sale, they may need to speak to a solicitor about placing the property into a trust, and then selling it. If you wish to discuss this, contact our team online, here.
However, if you appointed your partner and, for example, your child, both could join together and deal with the sale as your Attorneys, without needing to place the property into a Trust.
If your Attorney is not a co-owner of your property, they should encounter no issues with selling the property.
Can my Attorneys make gifts to themselves?
No, an Attorney should not make gifts to themselves, in most cases. This could be seen as dishonest, and could give people a reason to dispute their ability to act as an impartial, efficient Attorney.
If an Attorney feels like they have no other option than to make a gift to themselves, they should consult an expert LPA solicitor.
Can my attorneys make gifts on my behalf?
If the document is drafted in such a way as to allow the Attorneys to make gifts on behalf of the Donor, this would be acceptable. However, if your Attorney is only appointed in relation to Health and Care decisions, they can’t make gifts on your behalf, even if they believe you would have been happy with the gift.
Can my Attorneys put me into care?
If you Attorneys are appointed in the Health and Care decisions LPA, they may be able to make decisions about putting you into care, providing that you no longer have capacity to make these decisions yourself. If you still have capacity, they won’t be able to make decisions on your behalf about care. Although, you can still discuss this with them, if you wanted to.
Can my attorneys be beneficiaries of my Will?
Yes, your Attorneys can be named as beneficiaries of your Will.
Can my attorneys re-write my Will?
No, to make a new Will, a person must have capacity and be able to make the new Will themselves. Your Attorneys can not do this on your behalf.
If a person no longer has capacity, but you feel like there Will isn’t reflective of what they would have wanted, you would need to make an application to the Court for the Will to be amended.
To discuss this sort of application further, contact our team of experts.
What else will be Attorneys be able to do?
Whilst we’ve outlined briefly above what duties an Attorney can carry out, you can find a full list of an Attorney’s duties online at gov.uk.
Do I need to pay my Attorneys?
If your Attorneys are friends or family, they should not really be paid for acting as your Attorneys. If the Donor wants to compensate the Attorney, for example if they have to leave their job to care for the Donor full time, they should speak to the Office of the Public Guardian, or considering speaking to the Department for Work and Pensions about carer’s allowance.