Things change, life happens! Your circumstances at the time of agreeing to take on the role of a property and affairs Attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can drastically change over time. The Donor’s circumstances can also change.

The role of an attorney is a significant responsibility as (dependent on any terms and restrictions within the LPA) you are responsible for making important decisions on someone else’s behalf once the LPA has been activated.

It is not uncommon for the Donor’s financial circumstances to become more complex and burdensome over time. Another possibility is that you as the appointed attorney may no longer feel able to take on the role i.e. due to ill health or lack of experience.

An attorney can at any time disclaim their appointment. However once completed, this process cannot be reversed. Therefore, good practice would be to ensure that your retirement does not impact negatively on the Donor’s position.

Your starting point in this scenario should be to discuss your concerns with the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) or a qualified solicitor. They can advise you on what steps you need to take to ensure that the Donor position is protected following your retirement. It might be the case that there is a replacement attorney appointed under the LPA who can take over from you. However, if there are no remaining or replacement attorneys, your disclaimer is likely to invalidate the LPA. Therefore care should be taken to ensure the Donors position is protected.

An attorney can disclaim their appointment by completing an OPG form LPA005. This can be downloaded here.

As part of the disclaimer process, you will need to send the original form to the Donor to notify them. If there are other attorney’s, you will also need to send a copy of the form to them. If you are the only acting attorney you will need to send a copy to any replacement attorney.

Once you have done so, you will need to submit a copy of the form plus any copies of the LPA that you may hold in your possession by post to the Office of the Public Guardian.

Please note that a different process will need to be followed if acting under an Enduring Power of Attorney.