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Lasting Power of Attorney

See also the Government information about lasting power of attorney: Make, register or end a lasting power of attorney. The information in this section is taken from this website.

1. Introduction

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.

2. Two Types of Lasting Power of Attorney

There are two types of lasting power of attorney:

  • health and welfare
  • property and financial affairs

You can choose to make one type or both.

2.1 Health and welfare lasting power of attorney

This will give an attorney the power to make decisions about things like:

  • your daily routine, for example washing, dressing, eating;
  • medical care;
  • moving into a care home;
  • life-sustaining treatment.

It can only be used when you are unable to make your own decisions.

2.2 Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney

This will give an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:

  • managing a bank or building society account;
  • paying bills;
  • collecting benefits or a pension;
  • selling your home.

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.

3. How to Make a Lasting Power of Attorney

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.

4. Getting Help with Decisions about a 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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