A Lasting Power of Attorney (often shortened to LPA) allows you to appoint one or more persons (known as your attorneys) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. Your attorney should be someone you trust, typically a family member or a friend. The Lasting Power of Attorney will enable your attorney to act and make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself, for example if you no longer have mental capacity.
You can only grant a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you are mentally able to and are deemed to have capacity. It is therefore sensible to plan ahead and take steps while you are still fit and healthy. The Lasting Power of Attorney will need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used and that registration process can be quite lengthy.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney that you can put in place:
i) Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
This will allow your attorney to make decisions on your behalf in relation to things such as medical treatment, care decisions and your daily routine. If you choose, the attorney can also be given the power to accept or refuse life sustaining treatment.
This type of Power of Attorney may only be used by your Attorney if you do not have capacity to make the relevant decisions yourself.
ii) Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
This will allow your attorney to make decisions on your behalf regarding your property or financial affairs. This might include:
- Paying your bills;
- Managing your bank and building society accounts;
- Collecting benefits or pension;
- Selling or otherwise dealing with your home.
The Power of Attorney will be valid and can be used by your attorney as soon as it is registered, irrespective of whether or not you have capacity. However, as a safeguard, within the Power of Attorney you can state that your Attorney can only make decisions when you are no longer able to do so yourself.
I’m married, do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?
The fact you are married or in a civil partnership is irrelevant to question of whether to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. Just because you are married or in a civil partnership does not mean that your spouse will have the right to make decisions about you if you were to lack capacity in making your own decisions. Many people incorrectly assume that their spouse will have the legal right to make decisions about them – they will not. The only way to achieve this is to make a Lasting Power of Attorney and nominate your spouse as the attorney.
Who to select as your attorney(s)
Your attorney can be anyone as long as they are 18 years or over and have mental capacity to make decisions themselves. Most people choose a family member or a friend, but it should always be someone you trust. Think about how well the person knows you and how well they look after their own affairs.
You can select more than one attorney. If so, you can choose whether they should make decisons ‘jointly’ which means they all have to agree, or ‘jointly and severally’ which means each can make decisions alone or together with the others. You can also specify that some decisions need to be made jointly (for example, over a certain value or in relation to your property) and other need not be.
You can also select replacement attorneys to act if the original attorney is unable to do so.
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, it will be more difficult for your family and friends to manage your affairs, and depending on your circumstances, may mean that they will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. For further details about this, please see our guide to Deputyship Orders.
At Curzon Green our experienced solicitors can guide you through the process of putting in place a lasting power of attorney. Our fees for providing this advice and submitting the forms on your behalf are likely to be as follows:
|Power of Attorney||Legal Fees||VAT||Total|
(using same attorney)
(using same attorney)
|Registration fee (payable to the Office of the
We are also able to offer an advice-only service, consisting of a face-to-face meeting where we will explain the LPA process. Please note that under this service we would not complete or sign the form, but provide advice to enable you to do so. Our fee for this service is usually £150.00 plus VAT (£180.00 total).
We can also offer a service where the client completes the forms themselves and one of our solicitors has a meeting with them to go through the forms and sign as the certificate provider if happy to do so. We will not register the completed forms. Our fee for this service is usually £250.00 plus VAT (£300.00 total).
Please note that every matter is different and the above should be taken as a guide rather than a fixed quotation.