Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – what is a ‘Donor’?

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LPA what is a donor?

The person making an LPA is called the ‘donor’.

The ‘donor’ of a lasting power of attorney is the person making the appointment – ie the person who is choosing attorneys to look after their affairs should they (the donor) become unable to do so themselves.

Who else is involved in an LPA?

As well as the donor, there are a number of other parties involved in making an LPA.  They are:-

  • Attorney(s) – the person(s) appointed to look after the donor (if the need arises)
  • Replacement attorney(s) – this is not mandatory, but you can have replacement attorney(s)
  • Certificate Provider – certifies to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) that all is well – see below
  • Persons to be notified – this is not mandatory, but can provide a safety net at the point of registration – see more below
  • Witnesses – this is simply the people who witness the various signatures in the LPA

What should I think about as a Donor?

At the heart of it all, remember that you are potentially handing over an enormous responsibility to your chosen attorneys, and for that matter, a considerable burden too.  So, choose someone you can trust, and who is willing and able to take things on for you should the need arise.  Beyond that, there is lots for you to think about when making a lasting power of attorney.

Questions the Donor of an LPA might ask?

Given the extensive ‘power’ you will be giving your chosen attorney(s) there will be lots of questions you will ask yourself as a donor of the LPA.  These might include:-

  • What type of LPA do I want?
  • How do I make an LPA?
  • How much does it cost to make an LPA?
  • Do I need to use an LPA Solicitor?
  • Who should I choose as my attorney(s)?
  • Can I have more than one attorney?
  • Who can be my Certificate Provider?
  • Do I have to have replacement attorney(s)?
  • Should I include Restrictions and Instructions in my LPA?
  • Should I include ‘people to notify’?
  • How do I register the LPA?

What type of LPA do I want?

There are two types of lasting power of attorney (LPA):-

  • Finance – dealing with all things financial from banks, to investments, and even your house
  • Health & Care – for example where you go into care, through to end of life treatment

How much does it cost to make an LPA?

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) charges £82 per LPA when you register your lasting power of attorney.

If you prepare the LPA yourselves (ie without a solicitor) that’s the only cost involved.

QLAW can however take all of the worry away for you and deal with all of the (considerable) paperwork involved.

> See our latest prices for making an LPA

Do I need to use an LPA Solicitor?

No, you do not have to use a solicitor to make an LPA.  And/but, you can decorate your own house, or try mending your own car!  The question is do you want to?

Check our guide on the ‘top 5 reasons to use a solicitor to prepare your LPA ‘


As donor, perhaps your biggest decision is who to choose as your appointed attorney(s)?.

Who should I choose as my attorney(s)?

This is big one!  You can of course choose whoever you please.  There is no restriction on who can potentially be your attorney.  But, are they the right person for the job?  And, are they willing to take on the very considerable commitment of doing so?

For most of us, the natural person(s) to choose is likely to be a close family member – for example a spouse and/or children.

Whoever the donor chooses as their attorney, they must be over 18, and of sound mind.  You can not appoint an attorney who is bankrupt.

Can I have more than one attorney?

Yes, the donor can appoint more than one attorney.  But, do be mindful of the practical implication of this.

If you do decide to appoint more than one attorney, then you will need to choose between them acting either jointly, or joint and severally.  Joint attorneys must do everything together, and, if one of them becomes themselves unable to act, then the whole appointment fails.

Alternatively, you can choose for them to be appointed joint and severally.  This means they can act either together, or independently.  This provides more flexibility, and significantly, if one of the attorneys becomes unable to act, the remaining attorneys carry on (as opposed to a joint LPA where the whole appointment fails).

Who can be my Certificate Provider?

Your certificate provider is there to provide something of an independent safety net.  Their job is to certify to the OPG that (to the best of their knowledge):-

  • Compos mentis – you as donor are of sound mind
  • Foul play – you are not under duress to make the LPA or that there is a fraud taking place
  • Knowledge – that you fully understand the nature and extent of making the LPA

You can read more about the role of the certificate provider >

If you would like to make an LPA yourself without using a solicitor, QLAW is still able to help with being (just) your certificate provider.  This service is aimed at donor’s who are clearly fit and well without issues around their capacity.  It simply involves a short video meeting, from which (if everything is OK) we will issue the certificate for you to include with your LPA when you lodge the LPA for registration with the OPG.  Read more about our certificate provider service.

Do I have to have replacement attorney(s)?

No, you do not have to have replacement attorneys.  But, there are obvious benefits to doing so.  It covers off the scenario of your chosen attorney(s) themselves being unable to look after you.

You should be careful when appointing replacement attorneys that it is clear who would step in an when.  It becomes particularly tricky if you have chosen your first attorneys to act jointly (as opposed to joint and severally) as the basic rule is that a joint appointment fails in its entirety if one attorney can no longer act.  That of course drawers into question when a replacement can validly be made!

A flexible alternative to having replacement attorneys is to appoint all of those who you may wish to be attorneys as joint and several right from the off.

Should I include ‘people to notify’?

The donor including ‘people to be notified’ is there to create a further safety net – for example against them being put under duress to make the LPA.  If you do decide that you would like people to be notified when the LPA is registered, you should choose people who have your best interests at heart and that are most likely to raise concerns if needed.

Equally, there is perhaps an overriding school of thought to say that the most important thing is to choose your attorneys with care – leaving the need for persons to be notified somewhat redundant.

How do I register the LPA?

Whether you complete the forms online using the government portal, or you complete PDFs or even paper ‘offline’, you will need to send the hard copy forms to the OPG to have them registered.  Currently, there is a fee payable to the OPG of £82 per LPA.

Either you (as donor), or your attorneys, or indeed your LPA solicitor can register the LPA.

When can I use the LPA?

A finance LPA can be used as soon as it is registered (ie even if the donor still has capacity).  This is quite useful as you may simply want a bit of help with things, even though you are still of sound mind.

A Health & Care LPA can only be used when you loose capacity.

LPA Solicitors

We have lots more content on LPAs here on QLAW, so do check out our other articles if you haven’t found the answer to your questions.  Check out our search bar above and simply type your LPA question in.  If you still can’t find what you want, do post a question in the comments section below, or reach out to our expert LPA solicitors!

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