Myth-busters #6 – Once a Power of Attorney is made, you can’t change it

When you make a Lasting Power of Attorney, you are putting a document in place which will remain valid even if you lose capacity in future. But does this mean you can’t change it once it’s been registered?

In most cases, no.

We have seen several situations recently where someone has made a Lasting Power of Attorney but down the line, it is no longer suitable to have one or more of their appointed Attorneys act for them. Perhaps they have fallen out, the Attorney has got themselves into a bad financial position, or perhaps they just feel that one or more of their Attorneys are no longer right for the role. They could even themselves have lost capacity, or died.

If one of your Attorneys has died and your LPA is registered, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to let the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) know about the death. You do this by sending a death certificate to the OPG along with the original LPAs. The OPG then affix a stamp to the LPAs to show that the Attorney is no longer able to act.

In many situations, the removal of an Attorney can be dealt with by what’s called a Deed of Partial Revocation. This, as you can quite imagine, doesn’t revoke the whole document, just the appointment of the one or more Attorneys you would like to remove. This removal of an Attorney is irrevocable (unless you make a new LPA) and so it’s important to consider all the options and take advice from your solicitor before you make this decision, especially as there are cases where a Deed of Partial Revocation will not be suitable.

Sometimes, circumstances change such a lot that it might be best to revoke the whole LPA. Again though, you’ll need to think very carefully about this and about what other provisions you have in place should you need them. Your solicitor will be able to take you through all the options.

Need further help?

If you would like advice about anything discussed in this article, speak with a member of the team.

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