Lasting Powers of Attorney
20th August, 2012
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is an important document which allows an individual to make decisions on behalf of another when that person is unable to make decisions themselves. These documents can be confusing, especially as some of the legal terminology is not common in everyday language. Here we have explained some of the terms for you, which we hope will help you to understand the importance of these documents.
What is a Donor?
The Donor is the person making the LPA appointing Attorneys to make decisions for them. The Donor must be over 18 and must be able to understand the document and the issues involved. The Donor can give his or her Attorneys the power to make decisions about matters involving their property and finances as well as their health and welfare.
What does an Attorney do?
The Attorneys are the people that the Donor chooses to make decisions for them. The Donor can appoint one or more Attorneys and can specify whether they are able to make decisions individually or whether all decisions must be made together. It is also possible to restrict the decisions that the Attorneys are able to make and provide guidance to assist them in the decision making process. Replacement Attorneys can also be appointed, in case your first choice Attorneys are unable to act for you.
LPAs contain a ‘Named Person’. What is that?
Before the LPA can be used by the Attorneys it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. As part of the registration process, a notice must be served on a “Named Person” chosen by the Donor which tells them who the Donor is and who they have chosen to act as their Attorneys. The Named Person then has the opportunity to object to the registration, if for example they have concerns about the Donor’s choice of Attorneys.
What does a certificate provider do?
This is someone who needs to sign the LPA to confirm that the Donor understands the document and is not under any pressure to create it. They can be a qualified professional such as a doctor or solicitor or someone who has known the Donor for more than two years.
Explaining the role of the Witness
The Witness signs the LPA to confirm that they witnessed the Donor and Attorneys sign the document. It is possible to have different witnesses and anyone can act as a witness provided they are not named as an Attorney or Replacement Attorney in the LPA.
For any queries regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney please contact James Wallace on 01244 405588 or at [email protected]