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Close family relationships often mean that the donor - the person who grants the Power of Attorney - choses a family member to be their Attorney.
With Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Finance once they are registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) they can be used. This means that the donor can ask their Attorneys to help them manage their finances even if they could manage them themselves.
We find that some clients want their Attorney’s help in paying bills and setting up direct debits, so they decide to use their registered Lasting Power of Attorney, even though they can still manage their finances. Their Attorneys must consult them about financial decisions involving their finances and their role is to support the donor.
But once you start acting as an Attorney there are a number of rules that you need to be aware of. As an Attorney you have to look after the Donor’s money better than you would your own and you, your family and friends cannot benefit from your appointment as an Attorney.
This requirement has an effect on whether you can accept gifts from the donor.
There is detailed guidance on the OPG website about gifts and this can change so it is always best to check for the most up to date guidance:
If you do not follow the guidance, or you receive a gift that the OPG does not consider the donor had the capacity to give, you could be removed as an Attorney and required to pay the money back.
There are also some gifts that will need permission from the Court of Protection.
It is always sensible to think about getting professional advice if your relative or friend, who has appointed you as an Attorney, wants to make a gift you, your family or friends.
For information about acting as an Attorney please visit our attorney pages.
If you would like advice on specific issue in your role as an Attorney please contact Veronica Male, our Court of Protection specialist, on 01788 557 574 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.