Time to take a look at LPA’s…

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s) were introduced on the 1st October 2007 and replaced the previous Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) as a document which a person may use to confer authority on another to make decisions about their property and financial affairs. The donor (the person making the LPA) may appoint any person aged over 18 years to be their attorney and can appoint more than one person to act as attorney and replacement attorneys in case the first appointment cannot take effect.

At the time of making the LPA, the document must be signed by a “certificate provider”. The certificate provider’s role is to ensure that when the LPA is executed the donor fully understands the scope and purpose of the LPA; no undue influence or pressure has been placed on the donor to make that particular LPA; and that there is nothing further that should prevent the LPA from being created.

The certificate provider can be somebody who has known the donor well for at least 2 years or someone who possess specific skills and expertise such as a GP, social worker, solicitor or barrister.

An LPA can be cancelled at any time, even after registration, so long as the donor still has capacity to do so.  It is possible to partially revoke an LPA to remove an attorney that has been appointed.  However, care should be taken when doing this as it may affect the validity of jointly appointed attorneys.

When LPA’s were introduced, a new personal welfare LPA also came into effect.  The previous position in law had been that a doctor, social worker or other professional carer would need to obtain the consent to treatment from a person who had capacity.  If the person lacked capacity, they were subject to the duty of medical carers to provide care and treatment which was in their best interests.  Where a health and welfare LPA is registered and in force, the doctors or professional carers will now need to obtain consent from the attorney in the same way they would have previously obtained consent from a person with capacity.

If you would like any further information, please contact Kirsten Bradley at odonnells solicitors on 01772 881000 or via kirsten.bradley@odonnells-solicitors.co.uk.