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Power of Attorney? But I already have a Will!

Damian Lines explains how having an Executor for your Will does not protect your affairs if you are alive but unable to act for yourself.

When giving talks to groups, or speaking with clients, I have often heard this.  So, what is the difference between an attorney and an executor?

An attorney is someone appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney (or one of the older types of power of attorney).  The power of the attorney to act depends on what the document says, but lasts only throughout the lifetime of the person who has given the power – usually called the ‘donor’.  When the ‘donor’ dies, the power of attorney comes to an end and the attorney is then unable to continue dealing with that person’s affairs.

An executor is appointed under a Will, and they are only able to deal with the affairs of someone who has passed away.  They have a responsibility to make sure debts are paid, and that any money or property is transferred to the people named in the Will.

Although the two roles are often confused, they are separate and distinct:  an attorney can only act during a person’s lifetime, and an executor only after death.

To discuss putting either or both documents in place, contact Damian on 01633 867000.

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