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Types of attorney

Ordinary power of attorney

An ordinary power of attorney allows you to nominate one or more people to deal with your finances on your behalf.

The document can be general and cover every aspect of your affairs, or you can specify which matters your attorney can deal with.

You can end the arrangement at any time and the document automatically becomes invalid if you lose mental capacity.

You may wish to consider an ordinary power of attorney if you:

  • are going abroad for a period of time
  • are going into hospital or are physically unable to manage your finances due to illness or disability
  • would like someone else to deal with a particular financial matter, for example, selling your property.

To make an ordinary power of attorney, you need to buy a document from a newsagent or use a solicitor.

Lasting power of attorney

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.

This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions (you ‘lack mental capacity’).

You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions) when you make your LPA

You don’t need to live in the UK or be a British citizen.

There are two types of LPA:

  • health and welfare
  • property and financial affairs.

You can choose to make one type or both.

An LPA can be cancelled at any time, but only before you lose mental capacity.

Both types of LPAs must be created in a specific format. You can get the forms from the GOV.UK website or you can ask a solicitor to prepare one for you.

You must register your LPA before it becomes legally binding.

There is a £82 fee in order to register each LPA. However, depending on your financial circumstances, you may be eligible for a reduced fee or it may even be free. You are given an opportunity to apply for a reduced rate at the end of the application process.

Make, register or end a lasting power of attorney on the GOV.UK website

Last updated: 10/03/2022