A client recently contacted me to say that her mother needed a power of attorney. After asking some questions it became clear that it would not be possible for a power of attorney to be prepared on this occasion because mother had advanced dementia so was...
FAQ - LPAs
What is an LPA?
This is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). It is a document which you sign which appoints Attorneys to act for you to make and implement decisions if you are ever unable to do so for yourself. It ceases to be effective on death. There are two types of LPAs. One for Property & Financial Affairs and the other for Health & Welfare issues.
I have an Enduring Power of Attorney. Is it still valid?
So long as your EPA was signed and witnessed correctly by you and the Attorneys before 1st October 2007, it will be valid. However, remember that it only relates to property and financial affairs. You may wish to have a Lasting Power of Attorney prepared to deal with health and welfare issues.
How many Attorneys can I have?
You can have as many Attorneys as you like but it is usually best to limit the number to ensure that the LPA is workable.
Who should I appoint as my Attorney?
Your Attorney must be somebody that you thoroughly trust to act in your best interests. It can be a family member, a friend or a professional adviser. You can have different Attorneys for different Powers of Attorney. For example you could have one Attorney for your property and financial affairs LPA, another for a business property and financial affairs LPA and another one for your health and welfare LPA. You must trust your Attorney implicitly and be confident that the Attorney has the time and ability to take on the role.
Must I register my Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. In addition, for an Attorney to act for you under a health and welfare LPA, you must have lost mental capacity to make your own health and welfare decisions. An Enduring Power of Attorney must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian if you have become, or are becoming, incapable of making your own decisions.
How are my Attorneys appointed?
Your Attorneys can be appointed jointly and severally which means that they can act either alone or together or they can be appointed jointly. This means that all the Attorneys must act together if there is anything that needs to be done in their capacity as Attorneys. This is somewhat inflexible and means that if one of your Attorneys dies, or becomes in capacitated, the document can no longer be used.