The Basics – What does Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA Mean?
In this article, we are going to be discussing how the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA works, the reasons, risks, resources involved in granting, and how to apply for one. What does Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA mean anyway?
A Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA may sound intimidating, but it’s much simpler than you might think. It’s a notarized document that grants another person the authority to act on your behalf for a specific purpose and time frame. The person giving the power is the grantor or principal. The person receiving the power is the grantee, agent or attorney in fact.
Now, this doesn’t mean this person has to be an attorney, or that they will magically become your lawyer. This can be anyone over 18 years old. So, let’s refer to this person as your agent. There are many reasons to grant a POA. They’re helpful when you’re unavailable or unable to act on your own accord, and you need to have someone act on your behalf. Whether you’re a service member away from home on deployment on temporary additional duty (TAD), retired or dependent, experiencing medical limitations, these are some of the most common reasons to grant a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA.
While powers of attorney can be handy, authorising another person to act on your behalf comes with inherent risks one must understand, you will be legally bound to the actions your agent takes. Therefore, it is crucial to reduce the risk of accidental or intentional misuse.
Before granting a POA, you should always consider three factors
For instance, only give powers when absolutely necessary, and avoid granting powers for tasks you can accomplish yourself. Also, limit the scope of the power. A great way to do this is by making it a special Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA that only grants power for a limited purpose and a limited timeframe. And finally, only grant powers to an agent you fully trust to accomplish the desired mission and immediately revoke powers from anyone you may no longer trust. For example, reducing risk from someone who could obligate you to debts or purchases you cannot afford.
Remember, when your agent acts on your behalf, you will be the one responsible for all incurred expenses. Now that you know what does Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA mean and how to reduce the risks of misuse, let’s talk about what it takes to obtain a POA.
How to Obtain A POA
- Check the Requirements of your City
The requirements for Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA in most cities are similar with only a few having special forms. This document must identify the principal, the agent, and legal acts which the agent is entitled to perform.
So, you have to know what your city’s requirements are before going any further. Most of these forms can be downloaded from the internet. If you have a particular case making you unsure of whether or not to go ahead with it, you may want to seek advice from an attorney. An attorney can help you get the right requirements for a POA.
- Write or Download A Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA Form
For some cities, Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA forms has to be government written, and for some other cities, you have the liberty to write yours. However, it is advised to use the general form of your country as a template. Make sure the document is filled correctly, defining the type of Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA you want, and time frame.
- Gather Witnesses
Cities like Derby require that you gather one or two witnesses for the signing pf a POA document in which they would also sign as well. For other cities like London, this is not necessary. So again, this all boils down to your location as requirements differ.
As we highlighted earlier, the majority of the information required boils down to location as well as what you want to achieve with the signing of the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA form. Do your research or seek advice from an attorney to do it for you; if you feel it may be a challenge. If you wondered what does Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA mean, you’ll now know that Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA is simpler than you think as we highlighted earlier, and the information here is only one step of the journey, you have to gather more information with regards to your location and what you want to accomplish with the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA.