Office of the Public Guardian / Powers of Attorney

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document put in place to allow the ‘donor’ to appoint ‘attorney’ to act on their behalf in the event that they lose the ability to make their own decisions e.g. due to an illness or accident. At the time the power is given, the donor must be capable of understanding its nature and effect for it to be valid.

There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney which can be put in place:

  1. Health and Welfare – where an attorney is given the power to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment, moving into a care home and medical care etc.
  2. Property and Financial Affairs – where an attorney is given the power to manage a bank account, pay bills and sell or re-mortgage your home.

Lasting Powers of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used. Registration can be by you or your attorney for a fee set by the Office of the Public Guardian (as of 201/17 the fee is £110 per document).

Why should Lasting Powers of Attorney be put in place?

Lasting Powers of Attorney enable you to make provision in advance for the possibility of your becoming incapable of managing your own financial and welfare affairs during your lifetime. This becomes increasingly important as the risk of supervening mental incapacity grows due to longer life expectancies.

An ordinary power of attorney is not sufficient in such circumstances as it is automatically revoked by mental incapacity.

It is also possible to apply to the Court of Protection for permissions to act on behalf of someone’s affairs in the event of incapacity or illness, but the procedure can be costly and time consuming. More importantly, reliance on the Court of Protection route means that you will have lost the right to choose who will have the responsibility for looking after your affairs.

James has arranged wills and lasting power of attorneys for a number of my clients and has consistently shown himself to be professional while also being sensitive to some of the emotional issues clients face in such circumstances.

Have a Question? Get in touch

James Cohen – SolicitorIf you would like to discuss putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney further please do not hesitate to contact James Cohen, a Partner in our Private Client team, on

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