Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in English law were created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and came into effect on 1 October 2007. The LPA replaced the former Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) which were narrower in scope.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that lets you (the ‘Donor’) appoint people (known as ‘Attorneys’) to make certain decisions on your behalf.
Their purpose is to meet the needs of those who can see a time ahead when they – in the words of the Act, will lack capacity – to look after their own personal and financial affairs. In addition to making a Will, many people draw up an LPA appointing a spouse or a family member to manage their financial affairs for them should they lose physical or mental capacity in the future.
In order to make an LPA, you must be 18 and over and have the mental capacity to understand what the LPA is and what the LPA will do. You can also subsequently revoke the LPA but only while you have the mentally capacity to do so.
There are 2 types of lasting power of attorney:
A health and welfare LPA;
A property and financial affairs LPA.