When creating Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) it is important to consider when an attorney may stop acting as an attorney or be forced to stop acting as an attorney. This can have an impact ton he other attorneys’ appointments in the LPA, for example where the attorneys are acting ‘jointly’ the remaining attorneys could no longer act if one of them stops acting and replacement attorneys (if any) would step in at that point. This article will cover the different ways when an attorney will stop acting under an LPA.
Death of the attorney
If an attorney has died, their appointment is automatically ended by their death. It would not be possible for the attorney’s personal representatives to act on their behalf. Similarly if a Trust Corporation is named as an attorney in a property and financial affairs LPA their appointment ends if the Trust Corporation is wound up or dissolved.
Mental incapacity of the attorney
If an attorney no longer has the capacity to act as the attorney, their appointment would end due to this. It is not possible for the incapacitated attorney’s own attorneys to act on their behalf.
An attorney may at any time disclaim their appointment at any time if they no longer wish to act. They would need to do this by completing an LPA005 form. The donor, other attorneys and potentially replacement attorneys would need to be notified of this as well as the Office of the Public Guardian if the LPA has been registered.
An attorney’s appointment under a property and financial affairs LPA is terminated if the attorney becomes bankrupt or subject to a debt relief order. This does not affect a health and welfare appointment and a bankrupt health and welfare attorney can continue to act.
Marriage/Civil Partnership between the donor and an attorney ends
Where the donor appoints their spouse or civil partner as their attorney and the marriage/civil partnership later ends, the ending of the marriage/civil partnership will terminate that attorney’s appointment. The appointment will not end however if the LPA contains contrary intention that the appointment should continue.
Removal of the Attorney
Whilst the donor still has mental capacity, they can remove an attorney by either partially revoking their LPA or revoking it in full.
An attorney’s appointment may also be revoked by the Court of Protection in some circumstances, for example if the attorney has acted beyond their authority or not acted in the donor’s best interests.