If you have been appointed as an attorney for someone by a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”), you may be considering making gifts on his or her behalf.
There are very limited circumstances in which you can do this:
- On birthdays, weddings or other occasions when it is customary to make gifts you can make gifts on behalf of the donor to individuals related to or connected with the donor; and
- If the donor made regular gifts to charity whilst he or she had capacity, you can continue making those regular gifts.
However, in either of these circumstances, you can only make the gifts if the value of the gifts is reasonable when compared to the donor’s assets.
For other gifts, you will need authorisation from the Court of Protection. You cannot use the LPA to change the donor’s Will.
It is important to check the LPA itself as the donor may have included a restriction to further limit your powers to make gifts. Some donors include a restriction preventing the attorneys from making any gifts.
If you are considering making a gift on behalf of a donor it is important to remember your general duties as an attorney. You have a duty to act in the donor’s best interests. You must also act honestly and with integrity and you must not profit from or acquire any personal benefit from your position as an attorney.
For further information about the above, please telephone or email any of the key individuals listed or your usual contact at Stevens & Bolton LLP.