Lasting Power of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lose the mental capacity to do so in the future, or if you no longer want to make decisions for yourself.
There are two types of LPA:
1. Lasting Power of Attorney for financial decisions
An LPA for financial decisions can be used while you still have mental capacity, or you can choose for it to only come into force if you lose capacity.
An LPA for financial decisions can cover things such as:
- Buying and selling property
- Paying the mortgage
- Investing money
- Paying bills
- Arranging repairs to property
You can restrict the types of decisions your attorney can make, or let them make all decisions on your behalf.
If you’re setting up an LPA to make your financial decisions, they must keep accounts and make sure their money is kept separate from yours.
You can ask for regular details of how much is spent and how much money you have. These details can be sent to your solicitor or a family member if you lose mental capacity. This offers an extra layer of protection.
2. Lasting Power of Attorney for health and care decisions
This covers health and care decisions and can only be used if you have lost mental capacity to make those decisions yourself. A health and care attorney can generally make decisions about things such as:
- Where you should live
- Your medical care
- What you should eat
- Who you should have contact with
- What kind of social activities you should take part in
You can also give special permission for your attorney to make decisions about life-saving treatment. You can find out more on how to make and register a lasting power of attorney on GOV.UK.
Lasting Power of Attorney letter template
A responsible third party can inform an organisation of their lasting power of attorney by completing and sending the following draft letter accompanied with a copy of the signed lasting power of attorney document – LPA template letter.
Ordinary Power of Attorney
An ordinary power of attorney allows one or more people, known as your attorney, to make financial decisions on your behalf. It only lasts whilst you still have the mental capacity to make your own decisions. You may want to set one up if, for example:
- You need someone to act for you for a temporary period, such an when you’re on holiday or in hospital
- You want someone to act for you while you’re still able to supervise their actions and teach them how to be your lasting power of attorney
You can limit the power you give your chosen attorney so that they can only deal with certain assets. For example, your bank account but not your home.
If there comes a time when you don’t have the mental capacity to make your own decisions, you should set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (see above about that).
Template letter for Ordinary Power of Attorney (click the link below to download)
A responsible third party can inform an organization of their power of attorney by completing and sending the following template letter accompanied with a copy of the signed power of attorney document – POA template letter.
If you don’t have an LPA and lose mental capacity, then no one is legally authorised to make decisions for you. This can be a problem, so someone can apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.
If there’s no friend or family member who is suitable or willing to act as a deputy, the Court of Protection can appoint a professional from a panel.
Sometimes, two or more deputies are appointed. They can be asked to act together or independently.
You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’. This means that they cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. They may still be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times.
People may lack mental capacity because of, for example:
- Injury or illness
- Learning disabilities
Types of deputy
Like with LPAs, there are two types of deputy:
- Property and financial affairs deputy
You’ll do things like pay the person’s bills or organise their pension.
- Personal welfare deputy
You’ll make decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after.
Find out more at GOV.UK.
Deputy template letter (click the link below to download)
A responsible third party can inform an organisation of their deputyship by completing and sending the following template letter accompanied with a copy of the Court of Protection deputy document: CPD template letter
Office of the Public Guardian
The Office of the Public Guardian is responsible for:
- Registering lasting power of attorneys
- Appointing and supervising deputies
- Making sure an attorney or deputy is carrying out their duties properly
- Dealing with complaints and objections about attorneys and deputies
The contact details of the Office of the Public Guardian are:
Address: The Office of the Public Guardian, PO Box 16185, Birmingham, B2 2WH
Telephone: 0300 456 0300
Textphone: 0115 934 2778
Fax: 0870 739 5780