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Wills and Probate

Power of Attorney Solicitors

A power of attorney enables you to appoint others to manage your property and financial affairs during your lifetime. There are different types of power of attorney – Ordinary Power of Attorney (OPA) and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Our solicitors can explain these and help you to decide which is right for you. We have in-depth knowledge of this specialist area and can answer any questions you have.

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What is power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual (known as the donor) to appoint someone (the attorney) to make decisions on their behalf. When the donor makes a power of attorney, they must be able to demonstrate the mental capacity for the document to be valid.

You might decide to put in place a power of attorney so that somebody can manage your affairs temporarily if you are unwell or abroad, for example. Alternatively, you might have a power of attorney drawn up in case you lose mental capacity due to an accident or illness.

Depending on the type of power of attorney, it may need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, or it might only be valid while you have mental capacity.

Due to the different types of power of attorney and the potential pitfalls clients can fall into if they are not executed correctly, it is vital to seek legal advice. Our solicitors are experienced in all aspects of power of attorney and are here to guide you.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a long-term solution. It enables others to make both property & finance and health & personal welfare decisions on your behalf.


What are the types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

There are two types of LPA:

  • Property & Finance LPA
  • Health & Welfare LPA

You can put both types in place or just one. You can also appoint a different attorney for each type of LPA if you wish.

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Property & Finance LPA

A Property & Finance LPA enables your attorney to deal with all your financial affairs, including buying and selling property, managing your investments and bank accounts, and paying taxes and debts. You can choose to grant your attorney legal authority to manage only specific financial matters if you prefer to do so.

This type of LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

With your permission, your attorney can begin making financial decisions on your behalf from the moment the LPA is registered – they do not have to wait until you lose mental capacity.

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Health & Welfare LPA

A Health & Welfare LPA only comes into effect if you lose mental capacity. It enables your attorney to make decisions about your day-to-day life, including care and medical needs. They can decide what you wear and eat, where you live, what healthcare you receive, what contact you have with other people and more.

This type of LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.



Determining mental capacity

Mental capacity is the ability to make day-to-day decisions and to communicate them to others. The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 states that a person ‘must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity’.

Under the Act, a person is considered to lack mental capacity if they are unable to understand information relevant to making a decision; they cannot retain that information; they cannot use the information to inform their decision; or they cannot communicate their decision. A formal assessment of your mental capacity by a suitably qualified professional may be required in some circumstances.

Disputes can arise over whether somebody has lost mental capacity. Sometimes family members can also disagree about the decisions an attorney makes on their loved one’s behalf. If you are involved in a dispute of any kind, please get in touch with our solicitors today for advice.

How much does it cost to make a power of attorney?

The cost depends on the type of power of attorney you need and your individual requirements. We offer a Free Initial Assessment so we can evaluate your needs, and you can ask us any questions without worrying about money.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The registration fee is £82 for each LPA. So, if you would like a Property & Finance and a Health & Welfare LPA, the total registration cost is £164.

If you are on a low income or receive certain benefits, you may be exempt from the registration charges or be entitled to a reduction of 50%

How can our power of attorney solicitors help you?

We will advise you about the various types of powers of attorney and support you through every step. Whether you need an LPA or an OPA, we will make sure your needs are covered.

Or, if you are acting as an attorney, we can help you understand your responsibilities and guide you through the process. We can also help if you are involved in a dispute over power of attorney and the decisions made on behalf of a loved one.

Sometimes a person is unable to make decisions, but they have not drawn up a power of attorney. In this case, family members will need to apply to the Court of Protection for deputyship instead. Please talk to us for advice about this.

Have any questions or need any help?

Our team of specialist lawyers are experts in their field. Be confident in their advice and decisions to help get the right outcome for you. Contact us today to see how we can help