What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

There may come a time in the future when you won’t be able to make decisions for yourself, either due to sickness, incapacitation, or just feeling out your depth with a situation. In these circumstances, you may need someone else to make those decisions for you.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) becomes invaluable in these situations. It is a legal document that lets you appoint an ‘attorney’, or a group of attorneys to make decisions that concern your financial or health matters on your behalf.

A Lasting Power of Attorney ensures that your wishes are carried out even if you’re currently unavailable, or unable to make those decisions.

How many kinds of Lasting Power of Attorney are there?

There are two basic types of LPA, based on the two categories of decisions you could need help making as an individual. They are:

  1. Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

This document lets you appoint an attorney to make decisions that concern your health and welfare.

This could include decisions like continuing or ceasing life support, hiring a caregiver or receiving care at home, and other health-related decisions that may impact your daily routine.

  1.  Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

The attorneys in this category are charged with making decisions around your finances and assets.

These decisions could include the buying and selling of properties, supervising your savings and investments, and other financial matters.

These attorneys are also given the power to create your will for you in situations where you have an invalid will or none at all.

Please note that since you are also able to define how much power and authority you give the attorneys in your LPAs, you can have several kinds of each Power of Attorney document.

For example, you can restrict lasting power of attorney to buying and selling properties, while you create another document to empower a different attorney to handle your savings.

There is no limit to the amount of Lasting Power of Attorneys you can have; it all depends on your needs.

Can I name more than one attorney in my Lasting Power of Attorney?

Yes. There is no legal limit to the number of attorneys you can list when making an LPA.

It’s always a good idea to have between one and four attorneys in a lasting power of attorney document, as you don’t want you to find yourself in a situation where no attorney is available to make a decision for you.

If you do name more than one attorney, you also need to clarify if they are to act together under any circumstance (jointly) or have the ability to work individually in given circumstances that somebody cannot act any longer or for that moment (jointly and severally).

You can also name replacement attorneys, who will be responsible for your decisions in situations where your original attorney is unwilling or unavailable to act and make a decision.

However, you should also be careful not to name too many attorneys in your Lasting Power of Attorney as it can cause conflicts and disagreements as to what decisions are best for you.

Mickey Evans