The Office of the Public Guardian has recently published guidance for attorneys on investing.
If you are an attorney for someone, whether under an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’), you should take great care in making or managing investments on that person’s behalf. Guidance recently issued by the Office of the Public Guardian on the government website (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/investing-for-someone-as-their-attorney-or-deputy) provides a useful summary of the obligations and responsibilities of attorneys in relation to investing, the steps attorneys need to take and matters they should bear in mind. Important points made in the guidance are that an attorney cannot simply go ahead and invest as they please, they must if possible involve the person in making investment decisions, they must act in the best interests of that person and they must take into account that person’s preferences and beliefs. They must also of course take professional advice.
If you are planning to make an LPA and your attorney might need to make investment decisions on your behalf in the future, it is worth reading the guidance and perhaps discussing with your attorney(s) any investment issues which might arise in the future. If you hold a portfolio of investments with an investment manager under a discretionary management arrangement, or think that your attorneys may wish to do so in the future, it is very important that you give specific authority in your LPA for your attorneys to continue with or put in place such arrangements. Unless this authority is in the LPA, your attorneys will need to apply to the Court of Protection for permission, or they will only be able to instruct investment managers to act on an advisory basis.
For more information, please contact the partner having responsibility for your affairs or any partner in the private client department here.