What happens to a Lasting Power of Attorney when someone dies?
13 May 2019 by Lauren Hancock
The number of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) registered in England and Wales has increased rapidly in recent years. Therefore, it is important that attorneys know the extent of their rights and responsibilities. Many attorneys are aware of their duties during the lifetime of the friend or family member who appointed them; however, they are often unsure of the impact of the donor’s death on their appointment.
What happens to a LPA when someone passes away?
When someone passes away, the powers granted by any Lasting Powers of Attorney created during their lifetime cease. Meaning if you are appointed as an attorney, your power to deal with the donor’s affairs comes to an end. It is important therefore that, on the death of the donor, an attorney does not take steps to deal with any of the deceased’s affairs on the basis that they are acting under a Lasting Power of Attorney. This includes transferring monies from the deceased’s accounts; even where an attorney has been able to access and deal with those accounts during the donor’s lifetime.
On death, the powers to deal with the deceased’s affairs will pass to their executors or personal representatives. Attorneys and executors may be the same people; this however does not allow an attorney to continue acting on the basis of a LPA. Instead, it may be necessary to apply to the Court for a Grant of Probate confirming the executor’s powers to deal with the deceased’s assets.
If you have been appointed as an attorney and the donor has now passed away, as well as ceasing to act you should arrange for the original Lasting Power of Attorney to be returned to the Office of the Public Guardian with a copy of the donor’s death certificate as soon as possible.
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