Who needs a lasting power of attorney?

LPAs can help everyone plan for the future in case of accidents, and illnesses such as dementia, strokes and heart disease.


LP9: What happens when I can no longer make decisions for myself? (print version)

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Find out in this leaflet about making a lasting power of attorney (LPA), a legal document that allows someone you trust to make decisions for you if you are not able to.

LPAs aren’t just a way to plan for the future if you lose mental capacity through dementia. Other people create LPAs in case a severe accident, or illnesses such as a stroke, heart attack or cancer, leave them dependent on others to help with crucial decisions.

Parents with children also make an LPA to ensure their offspring are looked after in the way they want in case they can’t look after them themselves.

The Office of the Public Guardian’s online lasting power of attorney service is designed to make it easy for everybody to create an LPA.

The leaflet includes advice on:

  • who might need an LPA
  • how LPAs work
  • who you can choose to make decisions for you
  • what costs are involved
  • what might happen if you don’t make an LPA

Find out more about what’s involved in being someone’s attorney on the acting as an attorney page on GOV.UK.

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Published 19 May 2016
Last updated 8 February 2022 + show all updates
  1. Adding information for Welsh-speaking users on how to phone OPG.

  2. Added translation

  3. Welsh translations added

  4. Added web version of document

  5. First published.