Can my father continue to pay my children’s school fees now that I am looking after his finances under a registered Lasting Power of Attorney?
It may be the case that your father granted the LPA and has asked you to help him look after his finances but that he currently still has capacity to make some or all decisions for himself. Mental capacity is decision specific and he will need to be able to understand the information relevant to the decision to continue to pay your children’s school fees, retain that information, weigh up or use that information and communicate his decision.
If you are unsure whether your father has capacity to make this decision, you should seek advice from a lawyer and/or medical professional.
if your father does have capacity to make the decision to continue paying the school fees, then this can continue provided he makes the payments himself rather than asking you to make the payments for him. This is because of the strict rules in place relating to gifts and maintenance of others.
If your father does not have capacity to make this decision, it will not be possible for you to continue these payments without authority from the Court of Protection. This is because payment of your children’s school fees is not allowed under the rules in place and there is also a conflict of interest as it is arguable you are benefiting from these payments as well as your children.
If you wish to make payments or gifts as an attorney you should seek professional legal advice. Our Tax and Estate Planning department can assist with providing guidance for attorneys and with applications to the Court of Protection.
By Bekka Fuszard