Power of Attorney

An ordinary power of attorney allows one or more person, known as your attorney, to make financial decisions on your behalf. It’s only valid while 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 able to supervise their actions.

You can limit the power you give your attorney so that they can only deal with certain assets, for example, your bank account but not your home.

An ordinary power of attorney is only valid while you have the mental capacity to make your own decisions. If you want someone to be able to act on your behalf if there comes a time when you don’t have the mental capacity to make your own decisions, you should consider setting up a lasting power of attorney.

Find out more at GOV.UK

There’s a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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

Lasting Power or Attorney

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust, your attorney, 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:

      • LPA for financial decisions
      • LPA for health and care decisions.

LPA for financial decisions

An LPA for financial decisions can be used while you still have mental capacity, or you can state that you only want it to 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 for financial decisions, your attorney 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.

LPA for health and care decisions

This covers health and care decisions and can only be used once you have lost mental capacity. An 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

A responsible third party can inform an organization of their lasting power of attorney by completing and sending the following template letter accompanied with a copy of the signed lasting power of attorney document – LPA template letter

Deputy

It is possible to apply to the Court of Protection for a decision to be made on a particular matter. However, if there is a continuing need to make decisions on the person’s behalf, you can ask the Court of Protection to appoint you as a deputy. A deputy was previously known as a receiver.

A deputy is usually a family member or someone who knows the person well. A deputy can make decisions about someone’s personal welfare, property and financial affairs.

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 in all matters. Alternatively, they can be asked to act together and independently which means that they can act together but may also act independently if they wish.

You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’. This means 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, for example:

      • they’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
      • they have dementia
      • they have severe learning disabilities

As a deputy, you’ll be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.

Types of deputy

There are 2 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

A responsible third party can inform an organization 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:

The Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 16185
Birmingham
B2 2WH
Tel: 0300 456 0300
Textphone: 0115 934 2778
Fax: 0870 739 5780
E-mail: customerservices@publicguardian.gsi.gov.uk
Website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian