Deputyship and Power of Attorney

Mar 25, 2024 | Estate Planning, Financial Planning

Understanding and planning for the future, especially when it comes to legal and financial matters, is important. In the UK, this often involves knowing about deputyship and power of attorney. Let’s break these down to make them easier to understand.

Deputyship in the UK

There are two main types of deputies: those who handle property and financial stuff, and those who look after personal welfare. Deputies are often close friends or family members of someone who needs help making decisions. They must be at least 18 years old. Being a deputy means ensuring the person’s best interests are always considered.

The Role of Power of Attorney

Setting up a power of attorney is smart for anyone, regardless of age or health. This is where someone (the ‘donor’) chooses another person to make decisions for them if they can’t do it themselves.

Types of Power of Attorney

  1. Ordinary Power of Attorney (OPA): This is set up for a certain time. It’s handy if the donor is going to be away (like travelling abroad) and needs someone to handle their affairs back home. An OPA ends either when the donor says so, or if the donor loses the ability to make their own decisions.
  2. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA): Started in 2005, this replaced the old enduring power of attorney (EPA). There are two kinds:
  • For property and financial affairs
  • For health and welfare

To make an LPA, the donor and the chosen person (the attorney) sign some forms in front of an independent person who makes sure the donor understands what they’re doing. The LPA can name backup attorneys too, in case the first choice can’t do it anymore.

  1. Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA): If someone made an EPA before October 1, 2007, it’s still good. It starts working right away but is only officially registered when the donor can’t manage their affairs. An EPA can’t be changed; it can only be replaced with an LPA.

Making a New LPA

The donor can pick how their attorneys work – either all together, separately, or a mix of both. There are two separate LPAs to think about: one for money and property, and one for health stuff. Each needs its registration. The money works right after registration, but the health one only kicks in if the donor can’t make decisions anymore.

Important Points

  • Property and Affairs LPA: Let attorneys manage the donor’s money and stuff, like bank accounts and selling houses. The donor can set limits on what they can do.
  • Health and Welfare LPA: Lets attorneys decide on medical care, living situations, and life-saving treatments. The donor should be clear about what decisions the attorneys can make, especially about life-or-death stuff.

Both types let the donor set rules and limits on what the attorneys can do.

Knowing about deputyship and power of attorney in the UK is key for planning. It’s all about making sure someone you trust can make decisions for you if you ever can’t. It’s always best to talk to a legal expert to understand these options fully and make the right choices for your situation.

This communication is for informational purposes only based on our understanding of current legislation and practices which are subject to change and are not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.

Schedule an Obligation-free Call With an Adviser

By scheduling an appointment with an adviser they will reach out to you at your requested time. 
Personal advice, whenever it suits you.

Schedule an Obligation-free Call With an Adviser

By scheduling an appointment with an adviser they will reach out to you at your requested time. 
Personal advice, whenever it suits you.

SJB Global