Keep a Record of Decisions and Discussions
Some of the key things you need to keep a record of include:
- Any major decisions you make and when they get made (e.g. consenting to medical treatment or selling the home of the donor).
- Details of the donor’s assets, their income, and how you are spending their money (for a finance and property affairs attorney).
It is also important to include details of people that you asked for advice. If there are any serious disagreements you should be recording those too.
Note: There is no need to keep records of small and ‘incidental’ everyday decisions that you make (e.g. donor’s diet or their visit to a relative).
You can only claim back certain types of expenses while acting as an attorney for another person. The types of expenses that you can claim for are those that relate to your role as someone’s attorney. They include products and services such as:
- Hiring a professional (e.g. a tax adviser)
- Phone calls and travel costs
- Postage and stationery
You should keep the receipts for the items that you paid for and invoice the donor for your expenditure. Whoever is keeping charge of the donor’s funds should pay back your expenses.
Note: The courts can order you to repay the donor’s money if you make decisions to benefit yourself or misuse it.
Checks and Visits by the OPG and COP
Both the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and the Court of Protection have an important role. Either of these organisations can check the decisions you make (according to the lasting power of attorney).
In some cases, either the OPG or the COP will:
- Arrange to visit you and the donor together, or they may pay a visit to the donor alone.
- Contact other people involved in the situation (e.g. the bank, care workers, or the family of the donor).
They have the power to investigate any serious issues and they can stop you acting as the attorney if (examples):
- You failed to do something that the LPA instructed you to do.
- You did something that the instructions in the lasting power of attorney (LPA) said you cannot.
- You failed to act in the best interests of the donor.
- You fail to treat the donor well or you make a decision (or do something) that goes against their human or civil rights.
- You are misusing the donor’s money or you are make financial decisions to benefit yourself.
- The donor made the lasting power of attorney under duress or pressure (or they got tricked into making it).
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Health and Welfare Attorney | Authority given to chosen people to help with decisions on medical care.
Property and Financial Affairs Attorney | Authority given to people to help with decisions on finances.