How to make a lasting power of attorney
Information and support for making a lasting power of attorney (LPA).
- Lasting power of attorney
- Types of Lasting powers of attorney
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- Lasting power of attorney - frequently asked questions
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Lasting power of attorney
To make an LPA you will need to complete a form. There are separate forms for the two different types. You can choose to fill in a paper copy, or fill it out online. Either way, the form needs to be printed, signed and sent to the Office of the Public Guardian. Both include guidance notes which are extremely useful and should be read carefully.
If you don't have access to the internet, or don't feel able to complete the forms on a computer, Alzheimer's Society offers a digital assistance service. Lasting power of attorney forms are completed on your behalf by one of our trained volunteers using an online tool created by the government. Call Alzheimer's Society Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122. The service does not offer legal advice.
National Dementia Helpline
Once you have completed the LPA form, you will need to get someone to sign it to state that you have the mental capacity to make an LPA. This means:
- you have the ability to make this decision
- you understand what an LPA is, what your options are, and the consequences of making it, and
- you made the decision yourself.
There is a section within the application form for them to sign, and the person who signs this part is called the certificate provider. They can be:
- a professional, such as your doctor, social worker or a solicitor
- someone who has known you for two years, but is independent – that is, they aren’t a family member or an attorney and they will not benefit from the LPA (there is more information about this in the guidance notes).
You also need to get someone to witness you signing the form. Each attorney must also sign the form to say that they agree to act as your attorney if needed in the future, and that they understand the duties this involves.
You will also have the option to list one or more ‘people to notify’ on your form. These are people who you want to be alerted when the LPA is registered, if you don’t plan on registering it right away. This could be anyone you choose, for example a friend or relative. The purpose of this is to give you an additional safeguard. It is only an option, so you don’t have to name someone. However, many people like the protection it can offer, and the reassurance of knowing that people will be kept informed of what is happening.
Make a lasting power of attorney online
This online service will help you to create a lasting power of attorney (LPA) for England and Wales.
When you have completed an LPA form, you will need to register it with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used. Some people choose to wait to register the form, and there is no set timescale on when it must be registered. However, it can be reassuring to get it registered so that you know it is valid. If there are mistakes on the form, it can’t be registered. If this happens and you only find out later, when you no longer have capacity, you wouldn’t be able to make a new one. It takes an average of 9–12 weeks for the form to be registered, so many people find it helpful to register the LPA straight away so it is ready when it is needed.
There is a fee for registering each LPA, so if you are registering a property and affairs LPA and a health and welfare LPA, you will have to pay twice. The OPG can offer advice about what to do if you are unable to pay the fee.
Office of the Public Guardian
The Office of the Public Guardian is a national body that protects people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. It is responsible for registering LPAs, maintaining a record of all LPAs, and dealing with objections. There is also a contact centre that will be able to answer any questions you have, such as how to get an application form, or offer you help in completing the form (although they cannot provide legal advice). See ‘Other useful organisations’ below for contact details.
The OPG also deals with any issues or complaints about the way in which an attorney is acting. If they find any serious problems, they may pass the case on to the Court of Protection, who can:
- decide whether a person has capacity to make particular decisions for themselves
- make declarations, decisions or orders on matters affecting people who lack capacity to make these decisions, on either financial or welfare issues
- decide whether an LPA is valid
- remove attorneys who fail to carry out their duties
- listen to cases where someone objects to the registering of an LPA (someone may object if they feel that the person was forced into making it, or that the proposed attorney is not suitable).