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Decisions about your future care if you are unable to make decisions yourself
Hugh Butler / March 2019

How would you or others on your behalf manage your financial affairs or make decisions about your future care if you were unable to make decisions yourself?

One option is to appoint an attorney to act for you by a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Separately, you can appoint an attorney to look after your finances and an attorney to make decisions about your care needs. It is important that you set up your LPA while you are capable of understanding the implications of appointing an attorney. Just because you have set up an LPA, it does not mean that you are giving up control of your affairs there and then.

The LPA is created by filling in the prescribed form. In it, you specify who is to be your attorney(s), what powers you wish your attorney to have and at what point you wish your attorney to begin making decisions for you.

Question: My widowed father appointed me as attorney for his financial affairs by his LPA. He is no longer able to make decisions for himself. His estate will be liable to inheritance tax on his death. If he could, I am sure he would like to gift part of his estate to my brother and me, to save tax. What can I do?

Advice: An attorney has a limited power to gift money on behalf of the person (the Donor) granting the LPA. The recipient could be a relative or some other person connected to the attorney. Any gifts have to be reasonable in the context of size and the value of the Donor’s estate. For larger gifts, the gift would need to be sanctioned by the Court of Protection. Details of the Donor’s assets and personal circumstances would need to be provided to the Court before the Court could consider giving permission.

Hugh Butler | Partner / Head of Private Client

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