ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ON THE LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY (LPA)
1. What Is A Lasting Power Of Attorney?
- When a person loses his mental capacity (e.g. stroke, dementia, coma), he cannot decide matters for himself.
- A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a formal legal document that allows you to appoint someone (the Donee) to make decisions about your financial and healthcare issues if you should lose mental capacity.
2. What Is the Difference Between A LPA And A Power of Attorney?
- An LPA is only effective when you lose your mental capacity.
- A Power of Attorney is only effective when you still have your mental capacity and the scope of powers of your Attorney to act within the powers given by you.
- If you lose your mental capacity, the powers granted under the Power of Attorney shall be invalid or ineffective.
3. If I Have A LPA, Do I Still Need A Will?
- The purposes of an LPA and a Will are different.
- An LPA is only effective when one loses mental capacity and will lose its effect upon death.
- On the other hand, a Will is only effective upon the Testator’s (the one making the Will) death.
- It is recommended that everyone has both an LPA and a Will.
4. Is An Advanced Medical Directive Similar To A LPA?
- No. These 2 documents are different.
- An Advance Medical Directive (AMD) is a legal document declaring that you do not want any life-sustaining treatment to be used to prolong your life if you become terminally ill and unconscious and where death is imminent.
- The LPA does have similar provisions. However, it relates to the Personal Welfare powers – it seeks confirmation whether you wish to provide your Donee with the authority to continue or discontinue treatment, including participation in clinical trials.
- The appointed Donee will solely make these decisions.
5. What Is The Key Benefit Of A LPA?
- The LPA allows you to choose the person, i.e. someone you trust and believe to be reliable and competent, to make decisions and act on your behalf should you become vulnerable when you lose your mental capacity.
6. Who Can Make A LPA?
- Any person over 21 with mental capacity can make an LPA.
7. Can I Appoint 2 Donees?
- Yes, you can. You can appoint as many Donees as you want, although they must be 21, of sound mind and not bankrupt.
8. Do I Need To Get My Donee’s Consent?
- Yes, the Donee must be informed, and he must give his consent.
- In addition, he is required to complete his particulars in the LPA form.
9. Can My Daughter/Son Make A LPA On My Behalf?
- No, only you can make the LPA.
10. My Son Lives in London. Can He Still Be A Donee?
- Yes, he can, but do consider whether he is suitable to be a Donee.
- For example, what would happen if an emergency arose and the Donee was needed immediately?
11. What Types Of Powers Are Given In A LPA?
There 2 types of general powers given in an LPA:
- Property & Affairs
- Property & affairs power deals with matters that involve a person’s belongings and financial situation.
- It can be pretty mundane, like paying bills, checking that their bank account is in order, looking after investments, etc.
- Personal Welfare
- Personal welfare power deals with matters that involve the person’s well-being.
- The decisions about the person’s health, where they should be cared for and how.
- It also involves the medical decisions that may have to be made.
- These decisions could even have life or death implications.
12. Can I Use My LPA Once All Relevant Parties Have Signed It?
- No, the LPA must be registered with the Office of Public Guardian before it can be used.
- The registration process involves completing separate forms and submitting the registration fee.
13. Can I Revoke My LPA
- Yes. You can revoke your LPA any time if you are of sound mind.