Ordinary, enduring, and Lasting Powers of Attorney allow a person (the donor) to hand over vital decisions about their life to someone else (their attorney). But being an attorney is a role of serious responsibility. If you no longer want the job, here’s how to relinquish power of attorney in the UK:
About Powers Of Attorney
There are several different types of powers of attorney available in the UK:
- Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) – as of 2007, EPAs cannot be set up any longer though they remain legally in effect. Their purposes have largely been supplanted by LPAs.
- Ordinary power of attorney – covers temporary situations where you still have mental capacity but cannot be present to make financial decisions. They normally cover vacations, distance, or hospital stays.
- Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – LPAs are set up in advance and come into effect when a donor loses the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. There are two types – LPAs for health and care decisions and LPAs for financial decisions.
Some of the decisions you might have to make as an attorney are literally life or death.
For example, if you have someone’s Lasting Power of Attorney for health and care you might need to make decisions as to whether they have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order in place or the kinds of medical treatment they receive.
For some attorneys, when circumstances in their own life or the life of their donor change, this can come to be too much.
Can You Relinquish A Power Of Attorney In Your Name?
Yes, it is easily possible to relinquish a power of attorney in your name. You can choose to “disclaim” your position as attorney whenever you wish to.
To do this, there is a set procedure to follow. However, do be aware that you can’t change your mind once you have chosen to resign as a person’s attorney.
This means it is very important to consider how the decisions you would have made on the part of the donor will be made once you are no longer there to make them.
Can someone else remove you from a power of attorney?
There are several circumstances in which someone else can remove you from a power of attorney in the UK.
The most common is the donor changing their mind about giving away their decision-making ability to you. This can occur when:
1) Ordinary Power Of Attorney Ends
An ordinary power of attorney is only really supposed to be a temporary arrangement to cover times when a person cannot or does not wish to be present to make financial decisions for themselves.
The “temporary” situation may last a very long period of time. But at some point, the donor will probably wish to reclaim their decision-making ability.
2) An LPA Is Revoked Before It Comes Into Eeffect
Lasting Powers of Attorney are more difficult to revoke after they come into effect. This is because they only come into force when the donor has lost mental capacity and having this capacity to make decisions is a key part of whether changes to an LPA can be made.
However, it’s not impossible that perhaps personal relationships change before an LPA comes into effect. A potential donor may then wish to change who will get their Lasting Power of Attorney while they still have the mental capacity to do so.
A donor is not required to explain why they have revoked their decision. All that’s needed is that they still have the mental capacity to make decisions before they remove the power.
3) A Power Of Attorney Is Partially Revoked
Sometimes, a donor may wish to make some changes to the specific types of decisions they want their attorney – or a specific attorney – to be able to make for them.
This can be done via a legal document called a Deed of Partial Revocation. This may keep you in place as attorney and retain the original power document but change some of the details in it.
What Is The Best Practice For Relinquishing A Power Of Attorney?
There is a set process for relinquishing power of attorney in the UK. The best practice is to:
1) Talk To An Expert
Contact either the Office of the Public Guardian (the OPG, the official body responsible for administering powers of attorney in the UK) or a specialist LPA solicitor to talk about it.
The most important issue here is usually to discuss what will happen to the donor if you are no longer their attorney. In the best-case scenario, the LPA names another attorney who will take over.
2) Do The Paperwork
To disclaim a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can fill in a particular form available on the gov.uk website. You can download the LPA005 form here.
Part of the process involves sending the form to the donor, so make sure you talk to them about it in advance if you don’t want this to come as a shock. You will also need to send the form to any other attorneys named in the LPA or the replacement attorney if there are no others named.
Finally, you submit the form and any copies of the LPA to the OPG. That should be the end of the process of relinquishing your power of attorney. Remembering, of course, that you cannot change your mind later on.
Want To Talk Through A Power Of Attorney You Have And How To Relinquish It With An Expert?
Solicitors Near Me will find you a friendly, approachable specialist to chat about it with no cost or commitment. Get in touch with us today.