Are you acting within your power?

You may find yourself appointed as an Attorney under an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney or as a Deputy under a Deputyship Order granted by a Court. You may also be appointed as an Executor of a persons Will.

Often it is not clear when your power as an Attorney ends and your power as an Executor begins. Natasha Long, a solicitor in our Wills and Estate Administration team, takes us through the differences and at what stage this change can happen.

The role of Attorney

The role of an Attorney is to assist the Donor (the person appointing you as Attorney) in managing their finances and to make social and medical decisions on the Donor’s behalf where the Donor is unable to make decisions themselves.

Such appointment only applies to decisions made during the Donor’s lifetime. Any appointment as Attorney/Deputy requires you to act in the best interests of the Donor.

The role of Executor/Administrator

The role of an Executor is to administer the estate of the person who has died where that person has left a Will. The Executor has a duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

If the person dies without leaving a Will, then you may be entitled to act as Administrator under the Intestacy Rules.

The appointment of Executor/Administrator only applies if the person appointing you has died.

When does a Power of Attorney/Deputyship come to an end?

On the death of the Donor, any power you have as Attorney to make decisions on the Donor’s behalf automatically comes to end. Therefore, at that point, you no longer hold any authority to act in the management of the Donor’s affairs. Any appointment as a Deputy also terminates automatically on that person’s death.

If you are not appointed as an Executor, then any decisions about the deceased’s assets, payment of bills, accessing bank accounts, notifying parties of the death, closure of accounts etc. cannot be made by you. Only an Executor/Administer can make such decisions and take such steps.

Whilst both roles hold a position of trust, it is important to remember when your obligation as an Attorney comes to an end. Any steps taken after death would have to be accounted for to the Executor.

If you are also appointed as Executor, it is important that when notifying companies, you are doing so as Executor and on production of a Death Certificate.

How can we help?

Our Wills and Estate Administration team are on hand to answer any questions you may have around Powers of Attorney or Executorships, please contact us today.

Blanchards Bailey

So, how can we help?

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01258 459361