Lasting power of attorney: acting as an attorney

4. Start acting as an attorney

You must have a registered lasting power of attorney (LPA) before you can start acting as an attorney.

The LPA is registered when the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has stamped it with ‘VALIDATED-OPG.

You can prepare before you start by talking to the donor so you’re ready to make decisions in their best interests. For example, ask about their plans for their money or how they want to be cared for if they become seriously ill.

Starting as a property and financial affairs attorney

The LPA may give you permission to make decisions while the donor still has the mental capacity to make their own financial decisions.

If it doesn’t, you can only start making decisions when they don’t have mental capacity.

Starting as a health and welfare attorney

You can only make decisions when the donor doesn’t have mental capacity to make them.

You must tell people involved in the donor’s care when you start. This includes the donor’s:

  • friends and family
  • doctor and other healthcare staff
  • care workers, social worker and other social care staff

Staff may want to see proof of your identity and either the original LPA or a certified copy.

Taking over as a replacement attorney

Replacement attorneys are listed in the LPA.

You’ll be able to start helping a donor make decisions as soon as the attorney you’re replacing stops acting. Check the LPA to see if there are other attorneys you might need to make decisions with.