Helpful new guides from the Office of the Public Guardian
The Office of the Public Guardian (‘OPG’) has recently published two new guides for attorneys (or prospective attorneys) appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’). One guide is for attorneys appointed under a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, and the other is for those appointed under a Health and Welfare LPA. The guides can be found here.
For those considering taking on the role of an attorney, there is a useful list of things they should think about first, such as whether they have enough time to act, and whether or not they have the necessary skills and confidence in making decisions in the best interests of the donor, particularly if other people were to disagree with those decisions.
Each guide gives examples of the decisions an attorney may have to make and explains when they can start using their powers. A list is provided of the sort of information which the attorney should assemble about the person they are acting for (‘the donor’), ideally while the donor still has mental capacity.
Other sections in the guides explain the meaning of mental capacity and how to tell if someone has mental capacity or not. Examples are given of situations which might arise and the steps which an attorney should take to arrive at an appropriate decision.
The guides also set out the five main principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which an attorney has to follow.
For more information, please contact the partner having responsibility for your affairs, or for new matters any partner in the Private Client Department.