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Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

What is it and why may you need it?

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, if you’re no longer able to or if you no longer want to make your own decisions.
There are two types of power of attorney: ordinary and lasting.

Ordinary is often used in temporary situations. For example, if you are in hospital and need help with everyday things such as making sure that bills are paid.

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is when you may need to make more long-term plans if, for example, if you have been diagnosed with dementia.

LPA for financial decisions

This can be used while someone still has mental capacity. An attorney can generally make decisions on things such as:

  • buying and selling property
  • paying the mortgage
  • investing money
  • paying bills
  • arranging repairs for a property

LPA for health and care decisions

This can only be used once a person has lost mental capacity. An attorney can generally make decisions about things such as:

  • where you should live
  • your medical care
  • what you should eat
  • who you should have contact with
  • what kind of social activities you should take part in