Can Power of Attorney be used after death?

lasting power of attorney for property and financial affairs
Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs

No, a power of attorney cannot be used after death. When someone dies, their power of attorney ceases to operate. A power of attorney is only valid during the donor’s lifetime.

If you are the attorney for someone who has died, you should notify the Office of the Public Guardian about the death as soon as possible, so that they can update their records. You should also send them a copy of the person’s death certificate, the original Lasting Power of Attorney(s) and any certified copies.

Are power of attorney and executor the same?

No, they are two completely different roles, although you may appoint the same people to carry them out if you wish.

A power of attorney is a deed in which you appoint trusted individuals as your ‘attorneys’, who can act on your behalf during your lifetime, if you lost capacity to manage your own affairs.

You Will only takes effect on your death. In your Will, you should appoint executors, who will be in charge of winding up your estate and giving effect to the provisions of your Will.

Can power of attorney be revoked?

Yes, the donor can revoke their Lasting Power of Attorney, as long as they themselves still have mental capacity to allow them to do so. They would do this by preparing a deed of revocation.

Can I stop acting as attorney?

Yes, you can disclaim your attorneyship, if you no longer wish to go on acting in this capacity. If you do so, and there are other attorneys still appointed to act jointly and severally, or failing that if there are any replacement attorneys appointed in the deed, they will take over your appointment.

You should send your disclaimer to the donor themselves, the Office of the Public Guardian and the other attorneys appointed in the Lasting Power of Attorney, if any.

When does an attorney have to stop acting?

There are several situations in which an attorney is obliged to stop acting. One is if you are the donor’s spouse and you get divorced or have your marriage/civil partnership anulled. Another is if you are an attorney for property and financial affairs, and you go bankrupt or become subject to a debt relief order. A third is if you lose mental capacity yourself and are unable to make decisions any longer. Finally, you must stop acting if you and another attorney are appointed to act jointly (rather than jointly and severally) and your fellow attorney stops acting for any reason, unless the lasting Power of Attorney says otherwise.

If you would like to discuss making your Lasting Powers of Attorney, please get in touch.

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