In respect of Lasting Power of Attorney in Singapore, what does “jointly and severally” mean?

In Singapore, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows a person (the donor) to appoint one or more persons (the donee) to make decisions on their behalf in the event that they become mentally incapacitated.

When the donor appoints more than one person as a donee, he may specify that the donees are to act “jointly and severally.” This means that each donee has the authority to act on their own, independently of the other donees, but they can also act together with the other donees.

In practical terms, this means that each donee can make decisions and take actions on behalf of the donor without needing the agreement or approval of the other donees. However, if the donees are unable to agree on a particular decision, they may need to act together to make the decision.

It is important to note that when appointing multiple donees, the donor should carefully consider whether they should act jointly and severally or jointly. If they appoint the donees jointly, all the donees must act together, and unanimous agreement is required for any decisions made. This may provide more protection against the possibility of one donee acting against the donor’s wishes, but it may also create practical difficulties if the donees cannot agree on a decision.