Deputies and Attorneys must maintain duties during COVID-19 isolation, says Office of the Public Guardian
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has advised deputies and attorneys in England and Wales that they cannot temporarily give up or delegate their role if they cannot visit the protected person during the Coronavirus crisis, even if they themselves are in isolation or shielding because of government guidelines.
'During the Coronavirus outbreak, your role and responsibilities as a Deputy or Attorney remain the same', the OPG’s guidance states. 'If you are self-isolating or shielding, you must continue to make decisions for [the protected person P]. You cannot ask anyone else to make those decisions for you.' However, Attorneys and Deputies can make a decision and ask someone else to carry it out.
Attorneys do not have to step down just because they cannot visit the protected person for the moment. However, they can permanently disclaim their role, and a court-appointed Deputy can apply to the court to permanently end the Deputyship.
The OPG has also issued a recommendation that as many people as possible get their Powers of Attorney in place at this time.
They also issued guidance for people who have not yet granted a Lasting power of Attorney (LPA) but who may need someone to look after their affairs during the outbreak.
It advises against organising house visits to get the LPA signed and witnessed, and suggests posting the form to the signatories instead. It notes that a neighbour can witness a signature on the doorstep or over the garden fence, or through a closed window, for example. Each Attorney and replacement Attorney's signature must also be witnessed as well as the Donor's.
Thy Will Be Done are able to arrange your Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare, with a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Finance together with an advance directive all for £495 inc v.a.t and all OPG fees when donating £10 to the NHS Covid-19 appeal.
Call us FREE on 0800 668 11 64 NOW and we will be able to organise all of this for you over the phone with no need to leave your home.