Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

A Lasting Power of Attorney document offers protection and safeguards to people who appoint an attorney to make decisions on their behalf if they lack capacity in the future.

Two types of LPA

We all have the right to appoint in advance someone of our choice as an “attorney” to look after our affairs on our behalf, should we later be unable to manage our affairs ourselves. We can do this by making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), which must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The individual (known as the donor) can appoint up to four attorneys and a replacement attorney if they wish.

A health and welfare LPA gives the attorney(s) the power to make decisions about health and personal welfare, such as day-to-day care, medical treatment, and/or where the person should live.

"The ‘donor’ can appoint up to four attorneys and a replacement attorney if they wish"

A property and financial affairs LPA gives the attorney(s) the power to decide on financial and property matters, such as selling a house and/or managing a bank account.

They give the donor the choice of conferring broad or limited powers to make decisions, and about who to appoint. A donor is able to appoint relatives to make welfare decisions in a personal welfare LPA, but can also appoint a professional adviser for decisions about property and financial affairs.

A health and welfare LPA may only take effect when the donor can no longer make decisions. However, the donor can allow a property and financial affairs LPA to function earlier, in fact as soon as it is registered, even while the donor still has capacity, if he or she wishes.

As we get older, many of us worry about who will look after our affairs or make important decisions about our finances and well-being. An LPA can give us that vital peace of mind.