Key to selling hose as an attorney

LPA Advice: What to consider when selling a house as an attorney

Being appointed as an attorney is an important role and one task you may have to undertake is to sell a property on the donor’s behalf.

This can seem like a daunting task and you may have many questions regarding the process.

Below, the expert solicitors at Future Planning Solutions outline their top tips for selling a property as an attorney.

If you have any questions relating to a Lasting Power of Attorney, call our dedicated estate planning team on 01282 695400 for a free initial consultation.

Check the Power of Attorney: can the property be sold?

The first step is to check the power of attorney to determine if you have the authority to sell the property.

You could have been named as an attorney in either an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) or a Property and Finance Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Both of these documents stipulate who can act on property matters and how.

EPAs can still be used today provided that the document was made and signed before the end of September 2007. However, if the donor has lost mental capacity, the EPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before you can act. As this can take an average of 6-8 weeks, it is advisable to do this as soon as possible.

If you are named as an attorney in a Property and Finance LPA you must ensure that this document has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian for it to be valid. This is the case whether the donor still has mental capacity or not.

You should also check if there are any restrictions in the power of attorney relating to the sale of the property. For example, it may be stipulated that all attorneys must act jointly in the sale of the property meaning that the decision to sell must be unanimous.

Practical considerations when selling a house

There are also a number of practical issues to consider when selling a property as an attorney such as:

  • Home insurance: If the property is going to be empty for a time, you must ensure that the correct insurance is in place.
  • Water and Council tax: If the donor has gone into a care home and the property is being sold for that reason, check with utility companies and the local council as you may be eligible to apply to have these fees waived or reduced.
  • Post redirection: it is best to get this in place early

Furthermore, it is advisable to check the donor’s Will (provided that you have the correct permissions) to see if there are any specific requests relating to items in the house before you clear the property.

Get professional advice

As an attorney you must always act in the donor’s best interests. It is therefore advisable to get professional advice and 3 separate valuations in writing for the sale price of the house.

Similarly, you may wish to seek independent financial advice before investing the funds from the proceeds of the sale.

Contact Future Planning Solutions

For more information on what a Lasting Power of Attorney is and how this important document can help to protect you, contact Future Planning Solutions today.

To speak with a member of our experienced estate planning team, call us now on 01282 695 400.

Alternatively, if you would prefer that we call you, fill in our quick contact form and a dedicated Lasting Power of Attorney solicitor will be in touch shortly.