Client Story

The importance of appointing a replacement attorney

13th July 2023

Ten years ago Clive visited our Private Client team for advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”). He and his wife Sandra decided to put LPAs in place for both their property and financial affairs and their health and welfare. They appointed each other as their sole attorneys.

In 2017, Sandra started to notice a deterioration in Clive’s health. Those tasks which Clive used to be able to do without any effort such as paying his bills and communicating with the utility providers suddenly became a big challenge. After some investigations, Clive was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Clive became unable to look after his own affairs and so Sandra used the LPAs to start acting for him, until her unexpected death in 2022.

Thankfully, when Clive visited the Private Client team initially, he had been advised to appoint replacement attorneys within his LPAs for the eventuality of his wife being unable to act for him. Clive chose to appoint two of the Partners of the firm as his replacement attorneys.

After Sandra’s death, Senior Associate Lauren McGurk and the firm’s specialist Older and Vulnerable People team stepped in to help Clive and his family navigate the challenges ahead. Lauren’s and the team provided both expert advice and quick action to register the authority of the replacement attorneys with the Office of Public Guardian. They then assisted with the introduction of live-in care for Clive and administered Sandra’s estate. This enabled a smooth transition for Clive, his family, and the new attorneys.

Clive may well have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, but he is living well with his condition with the support from his live in carer and the Older and Vulnerable People team.

If Clive had not appointed replacement attorneys, his life could now be very different. For example:

  • The decision about where Clive should live would have been a decision for the Local Authority, and perhaps the Local Authority might have placed Clive into a care home.
  • An application to the court would have been required for a deputyship order to be made so that someone could access Clive’s money and this process could have taken up to one year.

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