Most of us during our lives will have reason to appoint, or be appointed, an attorney.

In simple terms, there are two forms of LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney):

  • Health and Welfare
    • your daily routine, eg washing, dressing, eating
    • medical care
    • moving into a care home
    • life-sustaining treatment

A Health and Welfare LPA can be arranged at any time as long as both the ‘donor’ and the ‘attorney’ conform to certain restrictions. The Health and Welfare LPA only comes into effect however, when the ‘donor’ in unable to make their own decisions.

  • Property and Financial Affairs
    • managing a bank or building society account
    • paying bills
    • collecting benefits or a pension
    • selling your home

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be arranged at any time as long as both the ‘donor’ and the ‘attorney’ conform to certain restrictions. This LPA comes into effect immediately.

Your attorney can be anyone 18 or over, such as:

  • a relative
  • a friend
  • a professional, eg a solicitor
  • your husband, wife or partner

You must appoint someone who has the mental capacity to make their own decisions.

When choosing an attorney, think about:

  • how well they look after their own affairs, eg their finances
  • how well you know them
  • if you trust them to make decisions in your best interests
  • how happy they will be to make decisions for you

It should be noted at this stage that this applies to LPAs in England and Wales only – Scottish and Northern Irish readers will have slightly different arrangements.