A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (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 you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions (you ‘lack mental capacity’).
You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions) when you make your LPA.
You don’t need to live in the UK or be a British citizen.
There are 2 types of LPA:
- health and welfare
- property and financial affairs
You can choose to make one type or both.
How to make a lasting power of attorney
- Choose your attorney (you can have more than one).
- Fill in the forms to appoint them as an attorney.
- Register your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (this can take up to 10 weeks).
It costs £82 to register an LPA unless you get a reduction or exemption.
You can cancel your LPA if you no longer need it or want to make a new one.
Health and welfare lasting power of attorney
Use this LPA to 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’re unable to make your own decisions.
Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney
Use this LPA to 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’s registered, with your permission.