Notes 1-17 have been produced by the OPG (Office of the Public Guardian).
Notes 18-19 have been produce by the NHS.
(There are some access limitations for the areas below, a reference is stored for this purpose).
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, for example, you have an accident or an illness and can't make decisions at the time they need to be made (you 'lack mental capacity').
2 Two types of LPA - Basics
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the 'donor') choose trusted people ('attorneys') to make decisions on your behalf. An LPA is mainly used if you don't have the mental capacity to make decisions yourself. There are 2 types of LPA:
3 Two types of LPA - Advice
There are 2 types of LPA. Some people make one, while others make both. Property and financial affairs LPA You choose people you trust to make decisions on your behalf about money and financial matters, including:
4 Who makes an LPA
The donor is the person who makes the LPA. The registered LPA can be used if the donor loses mental capacity. Mental capacity: definition 'Mental capacity' means the ability to make a decision. A person with mental capacity has at least a general understanding of the decision they need to make, why they need to make it and what is likely to happen when they've made it. People can sometimes make certain decisions but don't have the mental capacity to make others.
5 Life Sustaining Treatment
'Life-sustaining treatment' means care, surgery, medicine or other help from doctors that's needed to keep someone alive. You can state in your health and welfare LPA what you'd want to happen if you needed life-sustaining treatment and you no longer had mental capacity. You have 2 options: Option A. Yes. I want to give my attorneys authority to give or refuse consent to life-sustaining treatment on my behalf. If you choose this option, your attorneys can speak to doctors as if they were you. Option B. No. I do not give my attorneys authority to give or refuse consent to life-sustaining treatment on my behalf. If you choose this option, it means doctors will make the decisions about life-sustaining treatment instead of your attorneys.
6 Choice of Attorney
Attorneys are people you trust and appoint under your LPA to make decisions on your behalf when you don't have mental capacity. You must have at least one attorney. There's no upper limit but too many attorneys could make things difficult, as they'll need to work together. You should think about replacement attorneys – people who step in if one of your original attorneys can no longer act. See Replacement attorneys for more information.
7 Replacement Attorney
Replacement attorneys are people you choose to step in if one of your original attorneys can no longer make decisions on your behalf. A replacement attorney will step in if one of your attorneys: dies loses mental capacity decides they can no longer act on your behalf (known as 'disclaiming their appointment') was your wife, husband or civil partner but your relationship has legally ended becomes bankrupt or subject to a debt relief order – this only applies to property and financial affairs LPAs
8 Instructions and Preferences
You can leave instructions and preferences for your attorneys to direct and guide the way they act, but you don't have to. If you leave this blank, your attorneys will be free to make decisions they think are right. Complicated or badly written instructions and preferences can make an LPA unworkable. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) might not register it or the Court of Protection might need to change it. If it goes to the court, the instructions will be 'severed', which means removed from the LPA. This can take a long time.
9 How Attorney can make decisions
If you have more than one attorney, you must decide whether you want them to make some or all decisions on their own or whether they should agree some or all decisions unanimously. The legal terms are 'severally' and 'jointly'. Your options are: jointly and severally jointly jointly for some decisions, and jointly and severally for other decisions Most people choose jointly and severally because it is the most flexible and practical way for attorneys to make decisions.
10 Certificate Providers
A certificate provider is an impartial person who confirms that you understand what you're doing and that nobody is forcing you to make an LPA. A certificate provider is a safeguard. They help to make sure that all's well when you make your LPA. A certificate provider must be 18 or over. They must confirm that: You understand the significance of the LPA There has been no fraud involved in making the LPA You have not been put under pressure to make it There is no other reason for concern
11 People to notify
You can choose 'people to notify' who will be told when you or your attorneys apply to register your LPA. Why notify people? Letting people know about your LPA when it's about to be registered provides extra security. It gives people who know you well a chance to raise concerns. This safeguard is especially important if there's a long time between making your LPA and registering it.
12 Signing the LPA
The people involved in the LPA must sign it in the correct order. If they don't, the Office of the Public Guardian won't register it and your attorneys will not be able to use it. Order of signing The LPA must be signed in this order: Donor Donor's witness Certificate provider Attorney(s) and any replacement attorney(s) Attorneys' witness(es)
13 Registering the LPA
Once you have completed the questions in the first part of your LPA form, this service will take you through the steps to send in your LPA for registration. To register your LPA: Using this service, answer the questions in the registration part of the LPA form. Pay the application fee online or by cheque. Print the completed LPA, including the registration section, and sign it in the right order. Send your signed LPA form to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), along with a fee remission form and evidence if you are applying to pay a reduced fee.
14 Fees Reductions and Exemptions
It costs £82 to apply to register an LPA. If you (the donor) have a low income or get certain means-tested benefits, you can pay a lower fee or no fee. If you receive particular means-tested benefits, you won't have to pay anything (this called an 'exemption'). If you have an income before tax of less than £12,000 a year, you will only have to pay half (this is known as a '50 per cent remission'). If you get Universal Credit, you may also be entitled to a remission. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) will work out how much you should pay when it receives your application.
Here are words you'll see when you're making your lasting power of attorney (LPA). The help topics explain many of them in more detail. Applicant Attorneys are the people you choose to make decisions for you. You know them well and trust them to respect your views and act in your best interests. Attorneys don't need to be lawyers. Many people choose their wife, husband, civil partner, partner, children, other relatives or close friends. Attorneys must be at least 18 years old.
16 Applicant who registers the LPA
The applicant is the person applying to register the LPA. The applicant will also receive the stamped LPA once it's registered. Someone else, such as a solicitor, can help with an application. But the person who is applying must sign section 12 of the LPA. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) needs to know who is applying to register the LPA so that it can send the registered and stamped LPA to the right person. If the applicant has named a correspondent, they will receive the registered LPA instead of the applicant.
17 when an LPA can be used
Health and welfare LPA A health and welfare LPA takes effect only after it's registered and if you don't have the mental capacity to make decisions. Your attorneys cannot make decisions for you when you can make them yourself. Property and financial affairs LPA A property and financial affairs LPA usually takes effect when it's registered. You decide whether your attorneys should act on your behalf and in which circumstances. If you don't have mental capacity, your attorneys can act and make decisions on your behalf.
18 NHS Advice - Advance Decisions
What is an advance decision? An advance decision (sometimes known as an advance decision to refuse treatment, an ADRT, or a living will) is a decision you can make now to refuse a specific type of treatment at some time in the future. It lets your family, carers and health professionals know whether you want to refuse specific treatments in the future. This means they will know your wishes if you are unable to make or communicate those decisions yourself. The treatments you are deciding to refuse must all be named in the advance decision.
19 NHS Advice - Planning for your future
A Guide There may be times in your life when you think about the consequences of becoming seriously ill or disabled. This may be at a time of ill health or as a result of an accident or other life changing event. It may simply be because you are the sort of person who likes to plan ahead. If you were to lose consciouness or the capacity to make decisions about your life today, what are the important things you would like those caring for you to know about you and what you would want to happen?
We assist, draft and certify both LPAs: Care (Health and Welfare) and Finances (Property and Finance) and include up to 2 home visits, within one fee of £250 per person. (OPG registration fees, £82 per LPA, are extra).