Date Revised:

The decisions someone can make for another person depends on the type of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) that has been set up.

There are Property and Financial Affairs LPAs and Health and Welfare LPAs.

You can choose to prepare just one or both types.

  • Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows your attorney to deal with any decisions relating to your property or financial affairs. This can cover paying bills, dealing with the bank, collecting benefits, selling your house, or giving instructions to solicitors.
  • Health and Welfare LPA allows your attorney to make decisions about treatment, care, medication, where you live, the care home you live in, and can even extend to whether you would like your attorney to make decisions relating to life sustaining treatment or not.

Who to appoint as an attorney?

The attorney is the person you choose to make decisions on your behalf. They should be trustworthy, have appropriate skills to make decisions, and you should have full confidence that they will act in your best interests.

You can choose to appoint up to four attorneys and up to four replacement attorneys. They must be over the age of 18 and, for the Property and Financial Affairs LPA, they must not have been declared bankrupt, or be subject to ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.

If you appoint more than one attorney, you can appoint them to act together (jointly) or so that they can make decisions independently as well as together (jointly and severally). You can even instruct them to make some decisions jointly and other decisions independently.

When can decisions be made?

In order for a LPA to be valid it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). You can register your LPA immediately, or you may decide to wait to register your LPA until a later date. Your solicitor will discuss this with you when you prepare your LPA.

Once registered, the LPA for Financial and Property Affairs can be used immediately, even if you still have the mental capacity to manage your affairs.  

The LPA for Health and Welfare, on the other hand, can only be used by your attorney once you have lost the mental capacity to make your own decisions.

Thanks to Laura Ikin at NewLaw Solicitors for writing this page for us.

​Next update due: June 2017