Can you receive a financial gift if you have power of attorney?

If you are acting as an attorney for a loved one, it is not unusual have a number of questions about what you are, and what you are not, able to do.

One common query is whether you would be able to accept a financial gift from the donor.

In our latest article, the experts at Future Planning Solutions take a look at the regulations on accepting a gift when you have power of attorney.

To discuss your Lasting Power of Attorney requirements with one of our expert solicitors, call 01282 695400.

Your role as an attorney

First of all, it is important to be clear on your role as an attorney for a Property and Financial Lasting Power of Attorney.

You are responsible for making decisions on the donor’s behalf when they are unable to and you must always act in donor’s best interests.

Before you can accept any financial gifts there a few steps you should take.

You will need to prove capacity

In some cases, a Lasting Power of Attorney will be registered as someone is occasionally unable to make decisions for themselves.

In this case, you will need to be able to demonstrate that the donor had capacity when they gave the financial gift.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 states:

‘An assessment of a person’s capacity must be based on their ability to make a specific decision at the time it needs to be made, and not their ability to make decisions in general.â?

In order to demonstrate that they have mental capacity at the time of giving the gift, you will need seek the opinion of a doctor or medical professional.

If the doctor agrees in writing that the donor has capacity to give the financial gift, then you should be able to accept.

Once a doctor is satisfied that the person giving the gift can make the decision themselves, either you or the donor can action the payment.

There are strict rules once someone has lost capacity

The gifts that can be given by a donor once they have lost capacity are heavily restricted. The gifts must be of a reasonable value and must be in line with the donor’s actions before they lost capacity.

For instance, if a person regularly gave grandchildren £100 at Christmas or for a birthday, this would be allowed to continue after they had lost capacity.

Any gifts given must also be affordable based on the donor’s estate. You will have to consider whether the donor’s assets will be enough to future living, medical and care costs.

Talk to the specialist solicitors at Future Planning Solutions today

Here at Future Planning Solutions, our dedicated solicitors in Lancashire are available to answer any question you have on handling the affairs of a loved one.

If you’d like to talk to a member of our estate planning team today you can call us on 01282 695 400.

Or, if you’re unable to speak to us right now, arrange a call back by completing our online contact form.