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Q. How do I make a lasting power of attorney?

Lasting powers of attorney need to be made on prescribed forms. Each form is around 25 pages long.

The lasting power of attorney forms needs to include the details of the donor, the chosen attorney, any substitute attorneys and the certificate provider (somebody who signs the form to certify that the donor understands what they are signing). More information can be found in our lasting power of attorney leaflet.

Q. Why do I need a power of attorney?

A power of attorney allows you to nominate a chosen person or people to deal with your affairs on your behalf. If this needs to be for the short term, for example you are in the process of purchasing a new house and the completion date has fallen during a holiday you had booked, then a straightforward general power of attorney may suffice. If the document is needed for the longer term, i.e. you want to protect against the possibility of losing your mental capacity, then a lasting power of attorney is more appropriate.

Powers of attorney are a relatively straightforward and simple (when compared with deputy applications) way of achieving this aim.

Q. Who can be my attorneys?

Anybody who has mental capacity, is over the age of 18 and is not a declared bankrupt can act as an attorney. If you do not want to burden family and friends then your could choose to appoint Warners as a professional attorney.

Q. When does the Court of Protection need to be involved?

If you already have a power of attorney in place then the Court will have relatively little involvement. Their administrative branch, the Office of the Public Guardian, will deal with the registration of the power of attorney and they may carry out spot checks on the attorneys to ensure that they are fulfilling their role correctly.

If there is no existing power of attorney then a deputy application will need to be made to the Court of the Protection and the Court will choose a suitable deputy. The Court also have much more of an ongoing role in the deputy’s running of the donor’s affairs than they would have if an attorney was dealing with it (as a donor chose their attorney but they have not chosen their deputy).

Q. When does my power of attorney need to be registered?

There are different rules for enduring and lasting powers of attorney. For an enduring power of attorney, the power only needs to be registered if the donor has lost or is losing their mental capacity. Before registration, the power can be used with the donor’s prior consent.

A lasting power of attorney, however, cannot be used before it has been registered, regardless of whether or not the donor has consented to its use.

Q. What is a certificate provider?

A certificate provider is someone who discuss the lasting power of attorney with the donor (without anybody else present) to ensure that the donor fully understands both the lasting power of attorney document itself and also the ramifications of signing the document. Only certain people can be certificate providers. The list includes a solicitor, barrister, GP, other healthcare professional or any professional who believes that they have the qualifications necessary to act as certificate provider.

Q. Can I give somebody the power to make medical decisions on my behalf?

The personal welfare power of attorney form allows you to nominate your attorneys to make decisions regarding the approval of or the rejection of the use of life sustaining treatment on your behalf. If you do not want to give your attorneys this power then the form allows for you to say so.

If you choose to give your attorneys this power then any such decision made on your behalf will be legally binding.

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