Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
What is a LPA – This legal document allows a person (the Donor) to voluntarily appoint another person (the Donee) to make decisions on the Donor’s behalf should the Donor lose his mental capacity in the future and be unable to make such decisions by himself. It takes effect when the Donor loses his mental capacity.
Who can make a LPA – Anyone who is 21 years of age and above and is of sound mind.
Why make a LPA – The Donor can appoint someone he trusts to make decisions about his personal welfare and/or to make decisions about his property and affairs and direct how his assets are to be managed while he is alive but is mentally incapacitated.
If an LPA is not made, and should the person lose his mental capacity, then any family member or interested person may apply to Court to be appointed as his Deputy. It is a longer process and the mentally incapacitated person will not be able to choose his Deputy to make decisions on his behalf.
Donee – One or more individuals who is at least 21 years old, and preferably someone whom the Donor trusts who will make reliable and competent decisions on his behalf, and is not an undischarged bankrupt (if he is to manage the property and affairs of the Donor). As the Donee plays an important role in carrying out his duties under a LPA, the Donee is obliged to be fully aware of his role and the type of decisions he may make. He should read the Code of Practice and the Donee’s Guide before agreeing to be a Donee.
Can the Donee make a Will for the Donor or execute an AMD for the Donor? – No, the Donee cannot do both of those things for the Donor.
How to make a LPA – There are 2 types of Forms to fill out.
Form 1 gives the Donee very wide powers, and the Donor may fill in the required particulars by himself.
Form 2 restricts or specifies the powers of the Donee, and thus requires a lawyer to fill in the Form.
Part 4 of both Forms must be signed by a medical or legal practitioner.
Revocation / Ceasing to have effect – The Donor may revoke the LPA anytime while he is still of sound mind. A LPA ceases to have effect when the Donor regains his mental capacity or passes away.
The above is a general write-up. I will be happy to discuss with you to address your specific needs.
Ganesh S Ramanathan (Advocate & Solicitor)
(M/s Karuppan Chettiar & Partners)