LPAs were introduced by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and replaced the creation of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) from 1 October 2007. An LPA enables people, while they are still mentally capable, to decide who can deal with their personal affairs after they become incapable of acting and making decisions for themselves.
There are two different types of LPA:
(i) Property and financial affairs powers
This power authorises an attorney to make decisions about the donor’s property and financial affairs when the donor is unable to make decisions themselves. Some examples may include running bank accounts, dealing with investments, life assurance policies and redemption bonds. It is possible to draft this type of power on the basis that it will only come into effect if, or when, the donor lacks capacity to make decisions for themselves. This allows the donor to retain control and the ability to make decisions.
(ii) Personal welfare powers
This power authorises an attorney to make decisions about the donor’s personal health and welfare, but only when the donor lacks capacity and is unable to make the decision in question. The power extends to the attorney making decisions about where the donor may live, who can visit the donor and the type of care the donor requires. This power cannot be used for financial affairs.
All further references within this document to LPAs refer specifically to property and financial affairs powers. You can obtain further information on personal welfare powers from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) website.