A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, if you’re no longer able to or if you no longer want to make your own decisions. The people you appoint to manage your affairs are called the Attorneys. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a completely separate legal document to your Will. A lasting power of attorney can be brought to an end in certain circumstances. In this article, when does lasting power of attorney end, we take a look at the process and mechanism involved.
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When Does a Lasting Power Of Attorney come to an End?
A Lasting Power of Attorney only remains valid during the lifetime of the person who made it. This person is referred to as the “donor”. After the donor dies, the Lasting Power of Attorney will end.
If however the named attorney dies whilst the donor is still alive, then the LPA will remain valid providing there is a replacement attorney who can step in. If there is only one named attorney, with no replacement, then the donor will need to make a new LPA (providing they have capacity to do so).
How does a Lasting Powers of Attorney work?
There are two main reasons you might want to set up an LPA:
A health and care LPA lets your Attorney make decisions about your medical treatment general everyday care. This can include where you live, what food you eat, your visitors, exercise and access to the outdoors.
A financial decisions LPA lets your Attorney handle (and make decisions about) your money and property. This can include paying your bills, selling your property, collecting your pension, collecting your benefits and ensuring things like insurance is paid.
This arrangement can be on a temporary basis. For example, you may need to visit the hospital for a routine procedure and whilst you are convalescing, having an attorney could prove to be very helpful.
Alternatively, you may feel you require help on a more long term and possibly permanent basis. This could happen if you have been diagnosed with some form of dementia and you may lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions in the future.
It is worth noting that your “Attorney” can be anyone you choose to appoint. It does not have to be a solicitor.
What is the process involved if the donor dies?
When the donor dies, any LPAs that are in place in their name will come to an end. The named attorney will need to contact the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to notify them of the death.
They will also need to send the original LPA and certified copies along with certified copies and also a copy of the death certificate.
What is the process involved if the attorney dies?
If the named attorney dies while the donor is still alive, the process involved will be dependent upon what has been stated in the LPA.
If the donor has appointed more than one attorney, and these attorneys have the authority to act ‘severally’ then this means that they can make decisions independently of one another. In these circumstances, the LPA will remain valid and the surviving attorney(s) can continue to make decisions on the donor’s behalf.
If the donor has appointed multiple attorneys but they only have the authority to act ‘jointly’ then this means that they are unable to make decisions independently of one another. In these circumstances, the LPA will no longer be effective, as the surviving attorney(s) cannot make decisions independently of the deceased attorney.
It is possible to appoint attorneys to act jointly on some decisions and severally on others. If this is the case, then the surviving attorney(s) will now only be able to make decisions where they are entitled to act severally.
If the donor has nominated a replacement attorney, this person will be able to replace the one that has died. If there was only one attorney originally then they will be able to take on this role on their own. If there are other attorneys which have been appointed to act jointly, the replacement attorney will be able to take the place of the deceased attorney, so joint decisions can still be made.
If the LPA only named one attorney, with no replacement attorneys, then it will become ineffective if that attorney dies.
Other ways a lasting power of attorney can end
Your LPA may end if your attorney:
- loses the ability to make decisions – ‘loses mental capacity’
- divorces you or ends your civil partnership if they’re your husband, wife or partner
- becomes bankrupt or they’re subject to a Debt Relief Order (DRO) – if they’re a property and financial affairs attorney
- is removed by the Court of Protection
How we can help
We have a proven track-record of helping clients draft their Wills and advising upon Powers of Attorney. We will guide you through all the necessary legal due diligence in a comprehensive and timely manner. We firmly believe that with the right solicitors by your side, the entire process will seem more manageable and far less daunting.
How to Contact our Wills and Probate Solicitors
It is important for you to be well informed about the issues and possible implications of setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney. However, expert legal support is crucial in terms of ensuring your wishes are met as you would want them to be.
To speak to our Wills and Probate solicitors today, simply call us on 0345 901 0445, or allow a member of the team to get back to you by filling in our online enquiry form. We are well known across the country and can assist wherever you are based. We also have offices based in Cheshire and London.