How to Prepare a Power of Attorney in the UK.


Putting in place a power of attorney can give you peace of mind that someone you trust is in charge of your affairs.

If you're aged 18 or older and have the mental ability to make financial, property and medical decisions for yourself, you can arrange for someone else to make these decisions for you in the future. This legal authority is called "lasting power of attorney".

The person who is given power of attorney is known as the "attorney" and must be over 18 years old. You are known as the "donor".

Appointing attorneys

You can appoint just one attorney, or more than one attorney, to act:

  • “jointly” – they must always make decisions together
  • “jointly and severally” – they have to make some decisions together and some individually
For example, you can appoint attorneys to act jointly when making decisions over your money, but state that only one attorney should decide where you should live.

You have the right to say the attorneys must act jointly on all your affairs.

Types of power of attorney

There are 2 different types of power of attorney: lasting power of attorney (LPA) and enduring power of attorney (EPA).

LPAs came into force in October 2007. Before that, people made EPAs. It's no longer possible to make an EPA, but an EPA made before October 2007 remains valid.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

Broken into two catagories:

Personal welfare LPA which gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your daily routine (washing, dressing, eating), medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining medical treatment. It can only be used if you're unable to make your own decisions.

Property and financial affairs LPA which gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your money and property, including managing your bank or building society accounts, paying bills, collecting your pension or benefits and, if necessary, selling your home.

Once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, it can be used immediately or held in readiness until required.

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

An EPA deals only with property and financial affairs, not with personal welfare issues.

An enduring power of attorney (EPA) is a document that appoints someone (‘an attorney’) to help manage your property, money and financial affairs.

Your attorney will be able to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf if, for example, you have an accident or become ill and can’t make a certain decision at the time it needs to be made (you ‘lack mental capacity’).

The EPA was replaced with the property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney (LPA) in October 2007. You can set up a new LPA.

Applying for power of attorney

It's generally recommended that you set up both a personal welfare LPA and a property and financial affairs LPA at the same time.

Many people do this while reviewing or revising their will, and you may be able to use the same solicitor.

Talk to a lawyer if you have problems answering any of the questions or if you want them to check what you have done. You can call the Office of the Public Guardian or the Court of Protection first to see if they can help on 0300 456 0300. Legal aid may be available for personal welfare LPA issues, but not for property and financial LPAs. The Law Society will be able to tell you which solicitors offer legal aid. You'll only be eligible for legal aid if you pass a means test. Contact the Law Society by writing to them at 100-113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL, or call 020 7242 1222. You can also search for solicitors who specialise in this area on the Law Society online directory. If you would like to discuss the options available to you based on your requirements we would be happy to introduce you to our affiliated partner who specailises in UK Power of Attorneys.