Q: I have a property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), appointing my neighbour as my attorney. I set it up several years ago when the LPA took over from the old Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). Sadly, my neighbour recently contracted COVID-19 and died. It has now occurred to me that her passing has probably rendered my LPA useless. Will I have to prepare a new LPA?
A: If you have appointed just one attorney and no replacement attorneys, then you will have to make a new LPA as you are currently without an attorney. This means that if you were to lose capacity you would not have an attorney available to help make decisions on your behalf.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is a crucial part of future planning, therefore you have been sensible by already having one in place. However, it is worth bearing in mind when you make your new LPA that you can appoint more than one attorney, and you can also appoint replacement attorneys.
Attorneys can be appointed jointly, or jointly and severally. If they have been appointed jointly, they must unanimously agree on decisions. Further, if one attorney dies then the others can no longer act, as the LPA has instructed that they act together as a unit. If the Attorneys have been appointed jointly and severally, they can make decisions without the agreement of the other Attorneys and they can continue to make decisions on your behalf even if one Attorney dies during your lifetime.
If you are in any doubt about your best option for setting up a new LPA, speak to your solicitor who can help you look through the necessary paperwork and guide you on what steps to take next.
This question has been answered by Ulia Choudhry, a Solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. In accordance with government guidelines, some of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.
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