A lasting power of attorney (LPA) will protect you and your future, even if you never need it.

What are the misconceptions about LPAs?

73% of people think...

if a couple have a joint bank account and one person can't make decisions for themselves, their partner can legally make decisions for them both. This is untrue. An LPA will however give you consent to access joint funds to pay and monitor financial aspects of a joint account.


Property and Finance

A property and finance lasting power of attorney gives someone you trust the power to make decisions about your money and property, for example:

  • paying bills
  • managing a bank or building society account
  • collecting pensions or benefits
  • selling your home

These powers can be used at any time, but only if you say it’s ok.

72% of people think...

your next of kin always gets the final say in treatment decisions at hospital, if you can't make them yourself. This is untrue. Medical decisions need the specific, agreed consent of the person involved, before a next of kin can make treatment or welfare choices on someone else's behalf.


Health and Care

A health and care lasting power of attorney gives you the power to make decisions about things like:

  • your daily routine – for example, washing, dressing and eating
  • medical care
  • moving in to a care home
  • life-sustaining treatment

You apply and register now, but it’s only used if you can’t make your own decisions in the future.

Real people talk about their experiences of LPAs

Michelle and Daphne's story

Daphne took out a lasting power of attorney after her husband died, so her daughter could look after her finances.

Martin and Emma's story

Emma wanted her sons to have the ability to look after her in case she couldn’t look after herself in future.

Ken and Alice's story

Ken and his siblings took out a lasting power of attorney for his mum, after she started showing signs of dementia.

Start making your lasting power of attorney

Step 1 – Involve the people you trust

First, choose a person you feel confident will carry out your wishes. This doesn’t have to be a spouse or family member, but make sure it’s someone you really trust.

You can name more than one person if you want, as long as they’re 18 or over and fully understand the role they’ll be doing.

Be sure to take the time to talk things through with them properly. It’s important they know the choices you would make – and when you wish them to step in for you. Remember, you have control over this.


Step 2 – Decide what LPA is right for you

There are two different types of lasting power of attorney:

  • one to cover finances – such as running your bank account, paying your bills and collecting your pension
  • and one to cover health and care – such as your medical treatment and living conditions

We recommend you get both so you’re covered for every eventuality.

If you meet certain criteria you can apply to get either half or all of your money back for your applications. Find out more about our remissions and exemptions here.


Step 3 – Apply and register your LPA

Complete your application forms on our website, or download them, print them off and fill them out by hand.

It’s easy to apply online with help built in at every step.

If you’re having difficulty or don’t have access to a computer, simply contact us and we can post the forms to you. Or alternatively, someone you know can help you with your application.

Once completed, sign the forms and enclose your payment (unless you’ve paid online) and post everything to the Office of the Public Guardian to be registered.

In 8-10 weeks, we’ll send the registered forms back to you for safekeeping.

Before you start


Your LPA must be signed by the people involved, and in the right order. For further information on signing documents while keeping to social distancing advice please refer to our current Covid-19 guidance.


If we receive an application with signatures missing, or in the wrong order, we may ask you to complete a new form.


Please read the guidance properly to ensure your LPA is done right first time. Read more about signing your LPA.


Once you have completed your LPA, you post the forms to us to be registered (if you’ve completed online, you will need to download the forms, print them off and send to us in the post).


Registration of an LPA will take 8-10 weeks providing no mistakes have been made on the application. Read more about registering your LPA.


Any copy of an LPA can be certified as genuine by you, as long as you have the ability to make the decision yourself.


These can be used in place of the original LPA and as proof when permission is needed to make decisions on your behalf, for example, at your bank or building society. Read more about certifying your LPA.


You can change your LPA once it has been registered providing you have mental capacity.


Changes include details of new attorney addresses, marital status or deaths. Read more about changing details of your LPA.


You can choose to end your LPA providing you have mental capacity to make the decision. Read more about ending your LPA.

Become an LPA Partner

Many of us have experienced what it’s like to have someone we know lose mental capacity, either through age-related illnesses or injury.

We believe that everyone should have a lasting power of attorney to give peace of mind to themselves and loved ones, for whatever could happen in the future, and that real stories are the best way to enforce this message.

Our colleagues are signing up to become LPA Partners – to tell their stories and experiences of why a lasting power of attorney is so vital to them, and to ensure everyone is aware of the choice to keep medical treatment, care arrangements and finances with someone they trust.

We want you to join us in becoming an LPA Partner, and to spread the message about why it’s necessary to think about an LPA today, so you’re prepare for what may come tomorrow.

If you wish to talk more about becoming an LPA Partner, get in touch with us at communications@publicguardian.gov.uk

Working with the Court of Protection

We also supervise deputies appointed by the Court of Protection, advising them on their responsibilities throughout the time that they hold a court order.

We will investigate any claims of unlawful behaviour, and work with relevant partners to ensure that all deputies carry out their duties in the best interests of the person they’re responsible for.

For more information on deputyships, visit GOV.UK