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It can often be daunting when one becomes an attorney. Here is a guide which should help you as an attorney to move forward with the donor’s affairs.
Once the LPA is registered, you should carefully read the LPA for any instructions, preferences or conditions the donor included and to see what power you have. For example, you might have been appointed as a joint and several attorney or you could have been instructed to make certain decisions by yourself or jointly with another attorney.
As a financial or health attorney, any decisions you make must be in the donor’s best interests. You must not make assumptions about what the donor may want to happen with their affairs based on their age, behaviour, condition or appearance – it is always best practise to speak to the donor as far as this is possible to understand their wishes and feelings. If the donor lacks capacity to assist with decisions, then look to the LPA for any instructions or preferences the donor included and also speak about the possible options with the donor’s close relatives or friends to establish what they would have done if the donor had capacity.
As an attorney, you should remember this before making decisions on behalf of the donor:-
Think – is this what the donor would want?
Check – can the donor be helped to make all or part of the decision?
Remember – every decision must be in the donor’s best interest.
If you have any concerns about capacity, or if you are contemplating making a LPA for the first time, please get in touch with our team for more information.
Sameena Munir is a solicitor in the Private Client Department. Sameena has a Court of Protection focus, supporting property and financial affairs deputies. She works closely with clients who lack capacity, with a particular specialism of cerebral palsy and severe brain injury cases. She prepares statutory will and gift applications to the Court, and creates personal injury trusts. She also advises on lasting powers of attorney and probate matters.
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