Our clients’ experiences of self-isolation during the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020-2021 have shown that General Powers of Attorney (“GPAs”), whilst coming to an end should the donor lose mental capacity, are useful where the donor is self-isolating or otherwise logistically unable to carry out the management of their financial or business affairs.
In certain situations outside of lockdown, it may be prudent to make a GPA whilst waiting for business and/or personal LPAs to be registered at the OPG; we will be able to advise accordingly based on your personal and business circumstances.
A GPA is normally created where the donor wishes to appoint someone else to act on their behalf – for example, whilst they are out of the country, in isolation, or in hospital.
GPAs terminate on the donor’s loss of mental capacity and it is only Lasting Powers of Attorney which can be used in these circumstances. LPAs MUST be created whilst the donor has capacity.
A GPA can be either general or limited to specific affairs – for example, the sale or the purchase of a single property. At its widest, a GPA in terms of Section 10 of the Powers of Attorney Act 1971 gives the appointed Attorney(s) almost unlimited power over the donor’s affairs and should therefore be used with great caution.
Multiple attorneys can be permitted to exercise their authority in two ways:
- Jointly and severally: any of the Attorneys can perform any action on behalf of the donor individually.
- Jointly: every one of the Attorneys must perform the act together on behalf of the donor.
You might be happy for one Attorney to be able to act for you in paying a utility bill, for example, but not on the sale of your property.
GPAs need not be registered and will usually end either on a specified date (possibly the date on which a Lasting Power of Attorney is registered) or where expressly revoked by executing a Deed of Revocation. GPAs can only be used for decisions relating to your property and financial affairs and cannot be used to authorise someone to make decisions concerning your personal welfare and healthcare.
Alex Truesdale Wills Limited is currently offering complimentary Advance Decisions and GPAs to every client for whom we are preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney to ensure they are covered to the greatest extent possible during the COVID-extended OPG registration process. Please call 07887 946557 for further details.