How do I make a Lasting power of attorney?
To make a Lasting power of attorney (LPA), you need to fill out a form and register your LPA with the Office of Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG can also help with any questions or complaints about your LPA.
Lasting power of attorney
1. Fill out the LPA form
To make a Lasting power of attorney (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 by everybody involved and sent to the OPG.
Both forms include guidance notes which are very useful – you should read these carefully. You can get the forms and the guidance notes from the OPG (see ‘Lasting power of attorney - useful resources' for their details).
You don’t have to get legal advice, or use a solicitor, to make an LPA. Many people find that they can complete the form without legal help. However, an LPA is a powerful and important legal document. This means it can be a good idea to speak with a legal adviser who has experience of preparing LPAs. This is likely to cost money.
You might want to look at the LPA forms and read the guidance notes first, and then see if you feel you need legal advice.
What if I'm unable to make an LPA online?
If you don’t have access to the internet, or don’t feel able to complete the forms online, Alzheimer’s Society offers a digital assistance service.
LPA forms are completed on your behalf by one of our trained volunteers using an online tool created by OPG. The service does not offer legal advice.
To sign up, call Alzheimer’s Society support line on 0333 150 3456.
2. Sign the LPA form (with a witness)
Once you have completed the LPA form, you will need to sign it. Someone will also need to witness you signing it. There is guidance on the form about who can be a witness. You then need someone to sign it to confirm that:
- they have discussed the LPA with you and you understand what you are doing
- you are not being forced to make the LPA.
There is a section on 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, OR
- someone who has known you personally for at least two years, but is independent.
This means they cannot be a family member or an attorney or someone who could benefit from the LPA (there is more information about this in the guidance notes that go with the LPA forms). For example, you might ask a friend, neighbour or colleague.
Each attorney (and any replacement 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. Their signatures also need to be witnessed.
3. Register your LPA form with the Office of Public Guardian
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 for 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 the capacity to make an LPA, you can’t make a new one.
It takes an average of eight to 10 weeks for the form to be registered, so many people find it helpful to register the LPA straightaway so that it’s ready if 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. If you are on certain benefits or a low income, you may be able to pay less or not at all. The OPG can offer advice about this.
Let people know your LPA is registered (optional)
When you fill out the LPA form, you will have the option to list one or more ‘people to notify’. These are people who you want to be alerted when the LPA is registered. This could be anyone you choose, for example a friend or family member.
You don’t have to do this but 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
GOV.UK's online service will help you to create a Lasting power of attorney (LPA) for England and Wales.
What is the Office of the Public Guardian?
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is set up to protect people in England and Wales who lack the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves.
It is responsible for registering Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) and Enduring powers of attorney (EPAs). It keeps a record of all of them, and deals with objections to the appointment of attorneys.
How can the OPG help me?
The OPG has a contact centre that can help answer any questions you have – for example, how to get an application form for an LPA, or get help with completing the form.
It can also help with queries from attorneys about their role. However, they cannot provide legal advice. For contact details, see ‘Lasting power of attorney – useful resources'.
Issues and complaints
The OPG also deals with any issues or complaints about the way 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 with dementia has capacity to make particular decisions for themselves
- make decisions on either financial or health and welfare issues where someone does not have capacity to decide for themselves
- decide whether an LPA or EPA is valid
- remove attorneys who don’t carry out their duties
- listen to cases where someone objects to the registering of an LPA or EPA (someone may object, for example, if they feel that the person was forced into making an LPA or EPA, or that the proposed attorney is not suitable).
The OPG has a dedicated team for safeguarding (protecting people). They deal with cases of suspected abuse of a person who has made an LPA or EPA and other concerns about how attorneys are acting.
The OPG’s safeguarding team also works with other organisations such as local authorities, the NHS and the police. They have a phone number you can call to report any concerns. For contact details see ‘Lasting power of attorney – useful resources’.