Looking After "Future Me" - Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

None of us knows what the future holds but there may come a time when we might need help making important decisions or even someone to make those decisions for us.

If you don’t like the idea of strangers deciding what is right for you, you can appoint someone who knows you well and is a lot more likely to understand what you would want. This is called a Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA for short.

An LPA is a legal tool that gives someone of your choosing the authority to make decisions for you, if you ever can’t make them yourself. This person is known as your ‘attorney’ and can manage finances and make choices about your health and welfare. 

This gives you more control over what happens to you if an accident or illness means you can’t make your own decisions. You can set one up yourself or you can get help from a professional legal adviser if you prefer. 

There are two kinds of LPA:

Health and welfare lasting power of attorney

Use this LPA to give an attorney the power to make decisions about things like:

  • your daily routine, for example washing, dressing, eating
  • medical care
  • moving into a care home
  • life-sustaining treatment

It can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions.

Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney

Use this LPA to give an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:

  • managing a bank or building society account
  • paying bills
  • collecting benefits or a pension
  • selling your home

It can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.

You can make a lasting power of attorney (LPA) online or using paper forms.

Either way, you need to get other people to sign the forms, including the attorneys and witnesses.

You can get someone else to use the online service or fill in the paper forms for you, for example a family member, friend or solicitor.

You must register your LPA or your attorney won’t be able to make decisions for you. While it is free to write and save your LPA, it costs £82 to register an LPA unless you get a reduction or exemption.

There is lots of information online at https://www.gov.uk/lasting-power-attorney-duties.