Lasting Powers of Attorney ('LPA')

What is an LPA?

An LPA is a legal document in which anyone aged 18 or over (‘the Donor’) can appoint one or more Attorneys to make decisions on their behalf. This can include making decisions concerning your property and financial affairs or health welfare.

When can an LPA be used?

When the Donor no longer wishes to make decisions or when he/she may lack the mental capacity to make decisions.

An LPA cannot be used until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (‘OPG’), which currently takes a number of weeks to complete. A registration fee will be payable to the OPG for each LPA although there are circumstances in which the fee may be reduced or waived.

Types of LPA

There are two different types of LPA: a health and welfare LPA, and a property and financial affairs LPA.

Health and welfare LPA

This can give the Donor’s Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about non-financial matters on his/her behalf including: consenting to or refusing medical treatment; and deciding whether the Donor should remain his/her home or move into residential care.

A health and welfare LPA can only be used once the Donor lacks the ability to make decisions himself/herself.

Property and financial affairs LPA

This can give the Donor’s Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about his/her property and financial matters. This can include: paying the Donor’s bills, collecting his/her benefits, and selling the Donor’s house.

A property and financial affairs LPA can be used as soon as it has been made and registered with the OPG regardless of whether the Donor lacks the mental capacity to make decisions.

Both types of LPA allow a Donor to place specific restrictions or conditions upon their Attorney(s) and also allow a Donor to give detailed guidance on how he/she would like his/her Attorney(s) to act.

The LPAs allow a Donor to appoint Attorneys to act jointly where they must make all decisions together, or jointly and severally where Attorneys can make decisions together and separately. The Donor can also specify which decisions can be made jointly and which are to be made jointly and severally.

How to make an LPA

To make an LPA the Donor must complete a specific type of form. Upon submitting the completed form for registration it will be checked by the OPG. Provided it has been correctly completed the OPG will register the LPA.

Is a solicitor required?

A solicitor does not have to be instructed to prepare an LPA. However, because the forms are relatively long and powerful legal documents, it is prudent to seek legal advice.

Additionally, when making an LPA a Donor will require at least one Certificate Provider. This is a person who has to certify that the Donor understands the purpose of the LPA, the extent of the authority Donor is giving to the Attorney(s) and that the Donor is not being influenced or pressurised into making the LPA. A solicitor is well placed to be a Certificate Provider.

How much will it cost?

Due to the length and greater complexity of LPAs, they are inevitably more expensive to prepare than their predecessor (an Enduring Power of Attorney).

At Alston Ashby we are able to prepare an LPA on your behalf to cater for your circumstances and wishes. We also aim to provide you with a clear estimate of our likely charges from the outset. Please refer to Our Charges page, or alternatively, please contact us for further information.

Enduring Power of Attorney (‘EPA’)

The previous type of power of attorney (EPA) can no longer be created. However, those granted before 1st October 2007 will continue to be effective.