A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (in this case you are known as the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if, for example, you have an accident or an illness and can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made, that is you ‘lack mental capacity’. (For more information see What is Mental Capacity?)
To make a lasting power of attorney, you must be aged 18 or over and have mental capacity.
There are two types of lasting power of attorney:
You can choose to make one type or both.
This will give an attorney the power to make decisions about things like:
It can only be used when you are unable to make your own decisions.
This will give an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:
It can be used as soon as it is registered, with your permission. So if you want, you can have help with your financial and property affairs while you still have mental capacity.
You need to decide who you want your attorney/s to be (you can have more than one). See Choose your Attorney.
You and your attorney/s then need to fill in the forms to appoint them as attorney. See Make a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Register your attorney/s with the Office of the Public Guardian (this can take up to 10 weeks). See Register your Attorney. It needs to be registered before it can be used.
You can also make certified copies of your registered LPA for your attorney/s to use. See Certify a copy of a Lasting Power of Attorney.
You can cancel your lasting power of attorney if you no longer need it or want to make a new one. See End or Change your Lasting Power of Attorney.
You can contact the Office of the Public Guardian if you need help.
You will probably be able to find a solicitor in your local area who can help you make a lasting power of attorney.
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