In the simplest of terms, a lasting power of attorney is a legal document.
The use of an LPA allows a ‘donor’ to appoint one or more ‘attorneys’ to make, or help them make, decisions.
Lasting power of attorney (LPA) provides a greater degree of control over future situations and circumstances.
For example, an accident or an illness may mean you ‘lack mental capacity’ and become unable to make your own decisions.
Two types of LPA replaced the enduring power of attorney (EPA) in 2007:
- Health and welfare lasting power of attorney.
- Property and financial affairs power of attorney.
You do not need to have British citizenship to make and register a lasting power of attorney. Nor do you need to be living or resident in the United Kingdom.
The donor must be at least 18 years old to make an LPA, but you can make either type (or both). You must have mental capacity at the time you make the LPA (able to make your own decisions).
Note: The person who appoints an attorney is a ‘donor’. The ‘attorney’ is a person appointed to act on behalf of the donor. The process of making a lasting power of attorney differs in Scotland and in Northern Ireland.
3 Steps for Making an LPA
- Choose who you want to act as your attorney. In fact, you can have two or more attorneys (see below).
- Appoint them as an attorney. You can use the paper forms or make a lasting power of attorney online.
- Register the lasting power of attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian (allow ten weeks).
Note: The cost to register an LPA is £82 unless you qualify for an exemption or a remission. You will be able to cancel the LPA if you want to make a new LPA or you no longer need it.
Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
Making this type of LPA would give your attorney the power to make decisions on things related to:
- Where you live (e.g. moving into a care home)
- Your daily routine (e.g. dressing, eating, washing, and visiting people)
- Your medical care (e.g. life-sustaining treatment)
Note: A health and welfare attorney would only be able to make decisions on your behalf if you were unable to make them yourself.
Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
Making this type of LPA would give your attorney the power to make decisions on things related to your money and property, such as:
- Buying or selling your home.
- Paying bills and collecting benefits (or pension payments).
- Managing your bank and building society accounts.
Note: With your permission, a property and financial affairs attorney would be able to make decisions straight after registering the LPA.
Get Help to Make a Lasting Power of Attorney
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has several roles in England and Wales. They protect people who lack the mental capacity to make major decisions for themselves.
You can contact the OPG if you need some help deciding whether you should make a lasting power of attorney.
Office of the Public Guardian
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Choosing an Attorney
There are several key issues to consider when choosing an attorney for a lasting power of attorney. Find out who you can choose to be your attorney and what happens if you appoint two or more attorneys.
Making an LPA Online
You can choose to make a lasting power of attorney online or you can use the paper form. Find out how to make an LPA online, which forms to sign, and where to get expert help.
Register a Lasting Power of Attorney
You need to register a lasting power of attorney for the attorney to make decisions on your behalf. Check how to notify ‘people to be told’ and the current cost of registering an LPA.
Certify a Copy of an LPA
You may need to confirm that a copy of the LPA is a genuine one. You can do this by certifying a copy of a lasting power of attorney – providing you have mental capacity.
Changing a Lasting Power of Attorney
There are ways to change a lasting power of attorney even after registering it. Find out how to remove one of the attorneys, modify their details, or makes changes if one of the attorneys dies.
Ending a Lasting Power of Attorney
The donor can end a lasting power of attorney at any time. Check how to use a deed of revocation, other ways an LPA can end, and what happens if the only attorney dies or you die.