What happens to a Lasting Power of Attorney when someone dies?

A lasting power of attorney is designed to look after your best interests whilst you are still alive.

Should the case be that you ever lose mental capacity through illness, disability or ageing. Then the attorney(s) that you have appointed through your LPA will step in to make decisions regarding your health and welfare. As well as deal with your finances and any properties that you own. 

NOTE: Mental capacity is the ability to make and communicate decisions. Including the ability to be able to understand the consequences of these decisions. An LPA should be made whilst you still have full mental capacity. 

Your attorneys will be making some big decisions on your behalf. You need to know that they will always be acting in your best interest.

There are two types of lasting power of attorneys

  • Health and welfare

A health and welfare LPA allows someone you appoint to make decisions regarding your health and daily life.

  • Finance and property

A finance and property LPA allows someone to handle your finances and any properties that you own. You can appoint the same attorney(s) for each or choose different attorney(s) to deal with different matters. 

What happens when you pass away though?

Will your attorney(s) still have a role to play? 

Once you have passed away your lasting power of attorney will end. The Office of the Public Guardian where your LPA is registered must be notified of your death.

They will then require the following to be sent to them. 

  • A copy of the death certificate
  • The original copy of the LPA
  • All certified copies of the LPA

From that point the executors of your Will will step in to handle the division of your assets as per your Will. 

What if one of my attorneys are unable to perform their duties? 

When making your LPA you will choose one of more people to act as your attorney(s). This can be a spouse, family member, friends or even your Solicitor.

Unfortunately sometimes, one of your attorneys will become ill and unable to fulfil their role or they may pass away. In these circumstances, how many attorneys you have will decide what happens next. 

When one of your attorneys pass away. You will need to inform the Office of the Public Guardian. You are required to provide them with a copy of the death certificate and the original copy of your LPA.

If this was the only attorney you have appointed then you will need to make a new LPA with a new attorney named. 

If your LPA has appointed more than one attorney, but has stated that these can act severally. Then the remaining attorney(s) can carry on acting on your behalf. If the LPA states that they must act jointly, meaning all decisions must be made together, then the LPA will cease as one part of that joint team is no longer available.

When creating your LPA you are able to name a replacement attorney for scenarios such as this. The replacement attorney will then be able to step in.  

When choosing your attorneys it can be helpful to keep these points in mind

Choose your attorney(s) with the right skills

  • How are they at handling their own money?
  • Are they comfortable making medical decisions?
  • Are they organised?
  • Will they have enough time? 

Acting jointly

If you are appointed more than one attorney and you want them to make decisions jointly. Then ensure that you choose individuals who can work well together. 

Do they understand your wishes

It can be helpful to have an honest conversation beforehand. Where you can outline your wishes. Especially surrounding your medical care. 

Choose attorneys you can trust

It is vital that you choose people who you can trust.

Your attorneys will be making some big decisions on your behalf. You need to know that they will always be acting in your best interest. 

Choosing your attorneys can be a big decision. Especially if you have already had one and that person has passed away.

You will be placing a lot of trust into this person so it is advised to take your time and choose wisely. 

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