How do I make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

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LPA guide

A Lasting Power of Attorney is often called an ‘LPA’.

A lasting power of attorney allows you (the ‘donor’) to appoint someone (your ‘attorney’) to look after things for you should you become unable to do so yourself.

You can make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) online, or by ‘hard copy’ paper.  You do not have to employ a solicitor to do it for you, and there is extensive helpful information on the website of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to guide you through the process of making an LPA.

What types of LPA are there?

There are two types of LPA:-

  • Finance – dealing with all of your financial affairs
  • Health & Care – dealing with any thing from where you receive care, to end of life treatment

What is the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)?

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is the court that administers LPAs.  The contact details for the OPG are currently:-

PO BOX 16185                          customerservices@publicguardian.gov.uk

Birmingham                              www.publicguardian.gov.uk

B2 2WH                                    0300 456 0300

What forms do I need to complete for an LPA?

The forms that you need to complete to make a lasting power of attorney are:-

  • Finance – LP1H
  • Health & Care – LP1F

You can download them for free from our website by clicking the links above.

Alternatively, you can utilise the government online application website

Who can I appoint as my Attorney?

You can appoint anyone you want, subject to the following.  They must be over 18, and of sound mind.  Obviously, you should check with them that they are happy to be appointed, and take that responsibility on should it be needed.

You may wish to appoint replacement attorneys in case your chosen attorney themselves becomes unable to look after things.  A typical appointment (for example with a married couple) might be spouse, and/or children.

If you don’t want to trouble a family member or friend, QLAW offers a professional LPA service where we can look after your affairs should you become unable to do so.  One of our expert lasting power of attorney solicitors would be appointed to act should the need arise.

Can I have more than one Attorney?

Yes, you can have more than one attorney.  But, do be mindful of the practical implications of this.  If you do choose more than one attorney, you will need to decide whether they are to act jointly, or jointly and severally.

Attorneys appointed to act jointly have to do everything together – even something as simple as paying a bill!  This can cause administrative issues.  And, if one of the attorneys becomes unable to act, the whole LPA appointment fails.

On the other hand, when you appoint your attorneys jointly and severally, they can act together, or alone.  This is much more flexible.  And, if one of your attorneys can no longer act, the remaining attorneys simply carry on.

Joint and Several appointments are a useful alternative to appointing replacement attorneys – so in the spouse and children example, rather than appointing spouse only and children as replacement attorneys, you can consider appointing all at the outset on a joint and several basis.

LPA activation key

The online OPG portal now allows you to register the LPA (with banks etc) without the need for paper copies.

What is a Certificate Provider?

Your certificate provider certifies that:-

  • Compos mentis – you are of ‘sound mind’
  • Duress – you are not being forced into making the LPA
  • Knowledge – that you fully understand the nature and effect of making the LPA

Your certificate provider can either be someone you have known personally for 2 years or more (friend or colleague for example), or a professional such as a doctor or solicitor.  QLAW offers a certificate provider (only) service if you would like to make your own LPA.

Find out more about our certificate provider service >

Your attorneys can NOT be your certificate provider.  Find out more about what a certificate provider does.

What is a Witness of an LPA?

This is simply someone witnessing the signatures of the various parties.  They must be over 18, of sound mind, and ideally they will be ‘independent’ of the parties entering into the LPA.

The attorneys expressly can not witness the signature of the donor.  But, the certificate provider can!

Attorneys can witness each other’s signatures.

Do I have to have ‘People to Notify’ in my LPA?

No, you do not have to include people to notify.  This is designed to be a safety net and would typically include (if you wanted to) the names of people who you know would have your best interests at heart.  It is designed to try to avoid instances of wrongful registration of LPAs – eg if perhaps a donor has been put under pressure to make the LPA.

Read more about persons to be notified >

Do I have to include Restrictions or Instructions in my LPA?

No, you do not have to include restrictions or instructions in your LPAs.  This ties the hands of your chosen attorneys, and as such there is an argument to say you should positively avoid them!   Donor’s sometimes take the view that this provides them with protection.  However, perhaps the greater point is to ensure that you chose your attorneys carefully, and having done that, leave them free to look after things as you previously did (ie without restriction).

You can read more about restrictions and instructions >

How do I register a Lasting Power of Attorney?

To be used, an LPA must be registered with the OPG.  Whether you use on the OPG online forms or not, the original paper LPA must be sent to the OPG.

There is currently an OPG fee of £82 to register each LPA.

How do I use an LPA once it has been registered?

Once registered, a finance LPA can be used immediately (even if the donor remains fit and well).  This assumes there is no express restriction to this been made in the LPA.

However, a Health & Care LPA can only be used in the event of the donor losing capacity.

To ‘use’ an LPA you simply need to provide certified copies to banks, financial institutions and so on.  Historically this would have been paper copies.  However, there is a new secure portal offered by the OPG which allows the donor/attorneys access to a process whereby a secure link can be given to (for example) your bank, negating the need to you to be rushing around with paper copies.  Given the ever decreasing high street branches of banks, this is becoming increasingly useful.

This secure online access is generated by an ‘activation key’, sometimes called an ‘activation code’.  Read our article about an activation key.

Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors

We hope that you have found this article helpful.  If you need to find out more about Lasting Power of Attorney, do check out the rest of our content here on our website.  Failing that, do reach out to our expert LPA solicitors – we’d love to hear from you!

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