Lasting power of attorney your voice, your decision
If you lose the ability to make certain decisions for yourself, a lasting power of attorney (LPA) lets people you trust quickly, easily and legally step in.
Life may feel uncertain at the moment, but you still have options to help you plan for the future. You can still apply for a lasting power of attorney now, but if you need to make decisions sooner there are other options available. Find out more in our COVID-19 information section.
If possible, you may want to delay making a lasting power of attorney (LPA) until the social distancing rules have relaxed. You can use the time to talk to others about your wishes, think about what you might want to include in your LPA, and start completing the forms.
If it is essential that you make an LPA now, we’ve included some guidance below on making an LPA during the outbreak.
If you think you may need someone to make decisions for you soon, you can still make an LPA. However, there are also other ways people can make decisions for you that are quicker to get in place. These may be useful while you’re waiting for an LPA to be registered.
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.
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.
Daphne took out a lasting power of attorney after her husband died, so her daughter could look after her finances.
Emma wanted her sons to have the ability to look after her in case she couldn’t look after herself in future.
Ken and his siblings took out a lasting power of attorney for his mum, after she started showing signs of dementia.
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.
There are two different types of lasting power of attorney:
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.
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.
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.
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.