How I can help

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)

An LPA is a legal document which allows you to stay in control of your affairs if a time comes when you are unable to make decisions about your finances or health yourself.  It allows you to give legal authority to a person (or people) of your choice who will then be able to manage and make decisions for you after that time. 

There are two types of LPA – you can do one or both. 

The first covers financial and property decisions, like managing your bills, bank accounts and investments or selling your house. This can be used before you have lost capacity, but only if you permit, allowing family to help you out at a practical level.

The second type covers health and welfare decisions such as what type of health care or medical treatment you receive, where you live and day to day matters like exercise or diet.  This can only be used if you have lost your own ability to make these decisions.

 An LPA is a safeguard for the future.  While you have your capacity you can make your own decisions without fear of interference from anyone.   You might never need to use it, but accidents and illnesses can happen to any of us, at any time and at any age.  We are all living longer and the incidence of degenerative conditions is on the increase.

If you own a business, you should have a conversation with me about why a separate business LPA might be necessary and appropriate.

If you lose mental capacity to make decisions and you do not have an LPA in place, no one is able to make decisions for you.  It is a common myth that next of kin can do so.

Someone, maybe a person who you would not have chosen, will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship order.  This is likely to be significantly more expensive, cumbersome and time consuming for your loved ones to do, and you have little control over it.

I can advise on which LPA you might need, who to choose as your attorney and I can tailor it to include safeguards to protect you from it being misused or abused, or provisions to suit your particular circumstances and wishes for eg, including provisions to provide for the maintenance of a disabled dependent.

DIY LPAs can be done online but like all legal documents, there is much more to it than you might think and if you get it wrong, the Office of the Public Guardian will reject it.

frequently asked questions

Common LPA related questions answered

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document where you authorise another person or persons (known as your "attorney(s)") to act for you if you have lost capacity and cannot make your own decisions.

There are two types of LPA:

  • One deals with Finance and Property.
  • The other deals with Health and Welfare.

You can have either or both types of LPA.

If you don’t have an LPA in place and you lose mental capacity, it will be necessary for someone to make an expensive and time-consuming application to the Court of Protection in order to act on your behalf. This is currently taking about a year for the Court of Protection to process.
This type of LPA allows your attorney to deal with your financial affairs, for example to pay your bills, sell your property or investments and operate your bank accounts. If you allow your attorney to make decisions before you have lost mental capacity, it is always only with your consent. This can be helpful if you are unwell or on holiday for an extended period of time and is not mean to limit your independence or take away your right to make your own decisions.

This type of LPA allows your attorney to make decisions about matters such as your medical treatment, your diet, where you live and how you spend your time. Unlike the LPA for property and financial affairs, your attorney can only use it after you have lost the mental capacity to make those decisions yourself.

Your attorney cannot make decisions about life-sustaining treatment unless you specifically allow this in the LPA. Life-sustaining treatment includes ventilation to help with breathing, feeding through a tube and resuscitation.

LPAs must be made using a specific form. There is a different form for each of the two types of LPA. The form seems simple to complete but before completing it you think carefully about who to involve as your attorney, certificate provider and witnesses. You will also need to consider the decisions that you would like the attorney(s) to make on your behalf, including how they will make those decisions and whether there should be any limits on what they can do. I will help with all these questions. Once the form has been completed, it must be signed in the right order. You must sign first, then the certificate provider and then your attorney(s). The LPA must be registered before your attorney(s) can use it.
You could consider appointing family members, friends or Professional advisors such as your solicitor or accountant. This category is generally only appropriate for LPAs for financial decisions.
You could consider appointing family members, friends or Professional advisors such as your solicitor or accountant. This category is generally only appropriate for LPAs for financial decisions.
Yes, you can appoint more than one person to act as your attorney. You can also appoint replacement attorneys. This is useful as an insurance policy in case one of your attorneys cannot act.
It depends how you set up your LPA. You can say that your attorneys always have to act jointly for all decisions, or you can say they can act jointly and independently. You can also set out that they have to act jointly for some decisions and independently for others. However, you set it up, the attorneys are also under a duty to consult with anyone that may be relevant to the decision, most importantly you.
There are restrictions imposed on attorneys by law and these can’t be changed. The most important rule is that an attorney is only allowed to act in your best interests.
There are very strict limits on the kinds of gifts that an attorney can make on your behalf. For example, they can give birthday, Christmas and wedding presents but it has to be in keeping with what you would have done and proportionate to the size of your estate. Attorneys can't make gifts for inheritance tax planning or pay school fees for grandchildren without making an application to court.
Yes, you can also place additional restrictions on the authority of your attorney(s) in the LPA by specifying instructions that the attorney(s) must follow in section 7 of the LPA form. You can also give guidance to your attorney – guidance is about how you would like them to manage your affairs. This indicates your preferences, rather than something which your attorney(s) must do.

Legal services

Areas I Can Help With

I have compiled a selection of frequently asked questions and answers related to wills and will trusts. If you have any questions that I haven’t covered, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.

Let's get started

Please get in touch to see how I can help

People often say that getting started is the hardest part of all. Because you are reading this, you should feel encouraged that you have already begun the process, and my job is to help you from here. Simply pick up the phone and call me or drop me a short email.