There are three types of Powers of Attorney:
1. Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA;
2. Enduring Power of Attorney or EPA; and
3. General Power of Attorney.
Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document where one person (“the donor”) gives another person (“the attorney”) authority to make certain decisions on his or her behalf. The document can be prepared at any time whilst the person has mental capacity and is usually used when the donor is either no longer mentally or physically to make decisions themselves.
There are two types of LPAs:
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA, which allows your attorney to deal with your property and finances, as you choose;
A Health and Welfare LPA, which allows your attorney to make welfare and health care decisions on your behalf, only when you lack the mental capacity to do so yourself. This may also extend, if you wish, to giving or refusing consent to the continuation of life sustaining treatment.
Enduring Powers of Attorney
Any Enduring Power of Attorney, validly made before 1st October 2007, will continue to be able to be used but only in respect of your property and affairs. If you wish to give authority over your health or welfare you will need to make a health and welfare LPA.
If you would like to make any changes to your Enduring Power of Attorney you will need to prepare a LPA.
If you are an attorney appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney and the donor lacks capacity you are under a duty to register the document with the Office of the Public Guardian.
General Power of Attorney
A general Power of Attorney provides authority to an individual for them to act on your behalf in relation for a specific period of time or event (i.e to sign on your behalf for a house sale).
A general power of attorney is limited as it can only be used whilst you have mental capacity. In the event you lost capacity the document would no longer be valid. A Lasting Power of Attorney would then be required.
What happens if you have not made a LPA or EPA?
If you lack capacity to make a financial decision, then it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection for an appropriate Deputyship Order. This is both costly and time consuming and the release of your funds may be directly controlled by the Court.
We can act on your behalf in the preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney or a General Power of Attorney, registration of an existing Enduring Power of Attorney and an application to the Court of Protection.