Investigating the deceased’s personal details : power of attorney (box 16)
If the question at box 16 of the IHT400 has been answered ‘Yes’ the deceased will have granted a power of attorney before the date of death, and someone will have acted on the deceased’s behalf under it.
The power of attorney may have been a general, lasting or enduring power of attorney. In Scotland there are continuing and welfare powers in Scotland under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000).
Enduring and lasting powers of attorney will usually be granted in case the deceased became unable to effectively manage their financial affairs due to old age, illness or infirmity. They will normally be granted to a son or daughter or other close relative of the deceased but may also be granted to a more distant relative or friend.
The person to whom the power of attorney is granted (the attorney) may use their power to dispose of the deceased’s assets. If they did any gifts (IHTM04058) made by the deceased’s attorney will be treated as gifts made by the deceased and, if they were made within 7 years of the date of death, they should be recorded on form IHT403.
More information and advice on the lines of enquiry to pursue if the deceased granted a power of attorney can be found at IHTM09223.