Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint someone (known as an ‘attorney’) to make decisions on your behalf. It could be used if you became unable to make your own decisions.

There are 2 types:

  • health and welfare
  • property and financial affairs

You can choose to make one type of Lasting Power of Attorney or both.

Health and welfare

This allows you to choose 1 person or more to make decisions about things like:

  • your daily routine (e.g. eating and what to wear)
  • medical care
  • moving into a care home
  • refusing life-sustaining treatment

The Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions.

Property and financial affairs

This lets you choose 1 person or more to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:

  • paying bills
  • collecting benefits
  • selling your home

You can appoint someone to look after your property and financial affairs at any time.

Register a Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used if it’s been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

You can register a lasting power of attorney if you’re:

  • the person who needs the attorney (the ‘donor’)
  • the attorney

If you’re the donor, you must be able to make your own decisions when you register.

It can take up to 8 weeks to register if there are no mistakes in the application.

Inform ‘people who need to be told’

Before you register, send a notice of intention to register to all the ‘people to be told’ listed in the Lasting Power of Attorney.

They will have 3 weeks to raise any concerns.

Court of Protection

The Court of Protection makes decisions and appoints deputies to act on behalf of people who are unable to make decisions about their personal health, finance or welfare, if a Lasting Power of Attorney is not put in place.