1. Overview

A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint people (known as ‘attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf.

It could be used if you became unable to make your own decisions.

There are 2 types of lasting power of attorney:

  • health and welfare
  • property and financial affairs

You can choose to make 1 type or both.

You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity – the ability to make your own decisions – when you make your lasting power of attorney.

You may need a court-appointed deputy instead if you’re not able to make your own decisions.

Contact the Office of the Public Guardian if you don’t know what you should do.

Health and welfare lasting power of attorney

This allows you to choose 1 person or more to make decisions about things like:

  • your daily routine (eg eating and what to wear)
  • medical care
  • moving into a care home
  • life-sustaining treatment

This type of lasting power of attorney can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions.

Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney

This lets you choose 1 person or more to make decisions about money and property for you, eg:

  • paying bills
  • collecting benefits
  • selling your home

This type of lasting power of attorney can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.

How to make a lasting power of attorney

  1. Choose your attorney (you can have more than 1).

  2. Fill in the forms to appoint them as an attorney.

  3. Register your lasting power of attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian (this can take up to 8 weeks).

There is a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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