Your lasting power of attorney donee(s) can act and make decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to make decision for yourself due to the loss of mental capacity Therefore it is crucial to pick your donee(s) carefully.
Why It Is Important to Have a Donee(s)
Why is it important to make an LPA to appoint your donee(s)? An LPA prepares you for the situation where you lack the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. Should that happen, you and, more importantly, your appointed donee(s) will be ready and able to handle the situation because of the preparations you have made. This not only safeguards your interests but can also minimise the stress and difficulties your loved ones will face should you lose your mental capacity.
What to Look for in Your Donee (s)
Select your donee(s) wisely. When appointing your donee(s), choose someone competent that you can trust and rely upon to make the decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself. You may appoint one or more donee(s) and if you do decide to appoint more than one donee, you should make sure that the donees are willing and able to work together. In order to become your donee(s), your selected individual(s) must first consent to the appointment and sign a statement in the LPA.
Jointly or Severally
When you appoint more than one donee, you may appoint them to act jointly. This means that they must act together and cannot act separately. If you appoint them to act jointly and severally, this means that they can either make the decisions together or separately. However, try not to appoint too many donees. Having too many donees may result in confusion when people are not sure which donee to deal with and to take decisions from. Decision-making may also become less efficient because it may be difficult for the donees to come to a consensus on certain matters.
What are the Criteria for Someone to be Eligible to be a Donee(s)?
The Mental Capacity Act requires your appointed donee(s) to be at least 21 years old, with mental capacity, and must be identifiable by name (e.g. “Emily Tan” and not a job title such as “my lawyer”). Your donee(s) may handle either or both decisions regarding your personal welfare and/or your property & affairs. A donee appointed to make decisions about personal welfare must be an individual and cannot be a company. A donee appointed to make decisions about property and affairs may be an individual who is not bankrupt or a licensed trust company as defined in the Trust Companies Act.
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Lasting Power of Attorney