What Can an Attorney Do in a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Explore questions relating to this topic below.

What Does a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare Allow an Attorney to do?

As an attorney, you are responsible for making decisions relating to a donor's health, welfare and general wellbeing. Your responsibilities can include making decisions such as:​

  • Whether to approve or deny certain treatments for the donor.

  • What the donor should eat.

  • What the donor's daily routine should be.

  • Who the donor should have contact with.

Specific decisions, or decisions the donor doesn't want the attorney to make, can be outlined when the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is being prepared. 

A donor can appoint more than one attorney, and instruct them to either act within their own right or act jointly.

If a donor appoints more than one attorney to act jointly, this means that decisions made on the donor's behalf must be made jointly between all attorneys and the attorneys must consult and agree with each other before making any decisions. However, there are consequences to appoint attorneys jointly, for example if one attorney were to die then the LPA would become invalid.

If the donor appoints attorneys to act jointly and severally, whilst it may be in the best interests of the donor for decisions to be taken jointly by the attorneys, it also means that, should one of the attorneys die, the LPA would still be valid and the remaining attorney(s) can still make decisions on behalf of the donor. 

What Does a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Finance Allow an Attorney to do?

As an attorney for a donor, you are responsible for making decisions relating to their property and finances. Your responsibilities can include making decisions such as:

  • Paying bills on behalf of the donor.

  • Managing the donor's bank account.

  • Selling property on behalf of the donor.

Specific decisions, or decisions the donor doesn't want the attorney to make, can be outlined when the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is being prepared. 

A donor can appoint more than one attorney, and instruct them to either act within their own right or act jointly.

 

If a donor appoints more than one attorney to act jointly, this means that decisions made on the donor's behalf must be made jointly between all attorneys and the attorneys must consult and agree with each other before making any decisions. However, there are consequences to appoint attorneys jointly, for example if one attorney were to die then the LPA would become invalid.

If the donor appoints attorneys to act jointly and severally, whilst it may be in the best interests of the donor for decisions to be taken jointly by the attorneys, it also means that, should one of the attorneys die, the LPA would still be valid and the remaining attorney(s) can still make decisions on behalf of the donor. 

Can an Attorney transfer money to themselves?

An attorney may be able to transfer money from the donor to themselves, for example if the attorney has incurred some expense when acting on the donor's behalf.

 

If the donor has concerns that an attorney may transfer money to themselves for an illegitimate purpose, then the donor can implement safeguards when drafting the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to prevent this from happening, for example by appointing two attorneys who must act jointly to ensure there are checks and balances on the actions of each attorney. 

Can an Attorney Close a Donor's Bank Account After Death?

No. The powers held by an attorney within an LPA end upon the donor's death. Any decisions relating to the donor's bank accounts after their death should be made by the executors of the donor's Will or the administrators of their estate.

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