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Lasting Power of Attorney

Advice about legal documents, the LPA, powers of attorney, incapacity, dementia, making decisions, paying bills, collecting benefits, selling your house

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that enables you to choose someone who can make decisions for you in the future when you are unable to make these decisions yourself. LPAs replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) in 2007, when the Mental Capacity Act came into force. There are two different types of LPA.

Anyone aged 18 or over with the capacity to do so can make an LPA. However, you cannot make an LPA jointly with another person; each person must make his or her own LPA.

You can choose anyone you trust to act as your attorney provided they are over 18 and not bankrupt when they sign the form. You can also appoint more than one person and appoint replacement attorneys, if you feel it is necessary.

To make an LPA, you must use a special LPA form (also known as the instrument). Forms can be downloaded from www.publicguardian.gov.uk/forms/forms.htm. The forms have been designed to be as simple to complete as possible so you don't have to seek legal advice. However, if you are in doubt about any legal aspects you should contact your solicitor or Citizens Advice Bureau.

An LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used. If your LPA is unregistered another person cannot make decisions for you. For more information about LPAs, visit www.publicguardian.gov.uk. Forms and guidance notes can be downloaded from this site.