Lasting power of attorney: acting as an attorney
You can make decisions on someone’s behalf if they appoint you using a lasting power of attorney (LPA).
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The person who appoints you is called the ‘donor’. You’re their ‘attorney’.
You don’t need any legal experience to act as someone’s attorney.
The types of decisions you make depend on whether you’re a:
Check what you need to do before you’re allowed to start making decisions.
After you start you must:
- follow any instructions the donor included in the LPA
- consider any preferences the donor included in the LPA
- help the donor make their own decisions as much as they can
- make any decisions in the donor’s best interests
- respect their human and civil rights
You must make the decisions yourself - you can’t ask someone to make them for you.
If you’re not the only attorney
Check the LPA. It will tell you whether you must make decisions:
- ‘jointly’ - this means all the attorneys must agree
- ‘jointly and severally’ - this means you can make decisions together or on your own
The LPA may tell you to make some decisions ‘jointly’ and others ‘jointly and severally’.
Find out what to do if you make decisions jointly with someone who stops acting as an attorney.