Lasting Power Of Attorney

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

It is no longer possible to create an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). Any EPAs already in place are still valid you just cant make a new one. These have been replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA). There are two types of LPAs, one that deals with your property and financial affairs (similar to the old EPA) and one that deals with your personal welfare and wishes (similar to Living Wills).

An LPA must be registered to enable your Attorneys to act but this does not mean that you can no longer make decisions for yourself. These documents are designed so that in the future should you be unable to make decisions, your Attorney(s) can make these decisions for you.

Who can be appointed?

The donor can appoint whoever they wish to be an Attorney provided they have attained the age of 18 years and have capacity.

The donor can appoint one or more attorneys for each type of LPA and they need not be the same person i.e. they may prefer to appoint a professional to deal with their property and affairs and a family member to deal with their welfare wishes.

An attorney must act in the best interests of the donor at all times but given the potentially wide powers of an LPA, it is essential that the donor appoints someone that they totally trust.

How to create a LPA?

Anyone who has attained the age of 18 years can make an LPA. The document must be in the prescribed form and signed by a certificate provider. If you have lost mental capacity you cannot make a LPA.

Cost

LPAs may be more complex than their predecessors but they are preferable to the time consuming and relatively expensive process of being appointed as a Deputy (formally receivership).

Living Wills

Living Wills , also known as an Advance Medical Directive, are intended to allow individuals to specify the extent and nature of the medical treatment they find acceptable should they lose capacity. However a doctor may treat the patient before this document is provided. It is important that you make all family members aware of the existence of a Living Will or LPA in case you need emergency medical treatment.