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LPAs – change in guidance for Attorneys

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document where an individual gives another person or persons known as the Attorney or Attorneys power to make certain decisions and to deal with legal formalities and documents at their direction or on their behalf. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, one for Property and Financial Affairs and one for Health and Welfare.

When acting as an Attorney under a financial LPA it is often necessary to obtain professional investment advice and it can be useful to appoint a discretionary investment manager. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) previously issued guidance that required specific wording to be in included in a financial LPA to allow the appointed Attorney to use a discretionary investment management scheme to assist in managing financial assets.

Many people setting up LPAs would not have known that this clause was required. This meant that the Attorney under the LPA was unable to appoint an investment manager or replace one that was underperforming.

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) highlighted this issue to the OPG who have agreed to change the guidance. The OPG has confirmed that the delegation of investment management by an Attorney to a discretionary investment manager is legally permissible.

If you wish to speak to a member of our Private Client team about setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney please call us on 01323 841481, visit our website www.hartreade.co.uk or email us on info@hartreade.co.uk. We offer appointments at any of our offices in Eastbourne, Meads, Polegate or Hailsham.

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Please note the above is for information purposes only and is intended to be a short summary.  It should not be treated as a comprehensive guide and should not be acted on without qualified legal advice.