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Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can ensure your wishes are carried out.

What is an LPA?

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document which gives the person(s) of your choice the power to deal with your affairs. These trusted people will become your legally appointed attorney(s) and will be able to use these documents to act on your behalf whenever necessary.

LPAs are important in the event that you may not be able to express how you want your financial affairs and/or health and welfare to be taken care of. An LPA allows you to choose a person(s) to make these decisions on your behalf and in your best interests.

Depending on your situation, you may also consider a will or a living will


A will is a legal document which allows you to express your wishes about the people you want to inherit your money, property and possessions (your estate) after you pass away.

Living wills

Also known as an advance directive or "DNR" (Do Not Resuscitate), a living will would only be put into effect if you were physically unable to express your wishes in any future life or death scenarios.

The importance of an LPA

Contrary to popular belief, married or co-habiting couples are not automatically able to legally deal with each other’s affairs. Taking out an LPA and appointing your partner as an attorney ensures they have the authority to act on your behalf should you require it.

Legally, being married or co-habiting doesn’t afford you the right to:

  • Access any bank accounts
  • Speak to pension providers or credit card companies
  • Query bills with utility companies
  • Make a decision about healthcare
  • Without having a valid LPA in place naming your partner as your nominated attorney, they may find themselves powerless to help you

How do LPAs work?

  • You can choose people you trust – giving you the power to ensure your estate is being taken care of by someone you trust to do it. Whether it be a family member, a close friend or solicitor
  • Even if you’re married, you aren’t entitled to deal with your partner’s affairs – your partner could be powerless when it comes to making decisions to do with your finances or medical care
  • They last a lifetime – your LPA will protect your estate until you pass away, and then your will takes over
  • You should leave yourself plenty of time to set up and register your LPA – the registration process with the Office of the Public Guardian can take up to 10 weeks
  • Key recommend you appoint at least two attorneys. The first, for example, could be your spouse or partner and the second a son or daughter
  • LPAs can be temporary or permanent depending on your situation

Types of LPAs

Feature Property and Finance Health and Welfare
brand-act-on-your-behalf Act on your behalf
Deal with bank accounts
brand-sign-paperwork Sign paperwork related to equity release
brand-deal-with-utility-bills Deal with utility bills
brand-deal-with-solicitors Deal with solicitors
brand-discuss-medical-issues-with-doctor Discuss medical issues with your doctors
brand-make-decisions-about-healthcare Make decisions about healthcare
brand-deal-with-social-services Deal with social services

In England and Wales, there are two types of LPA which deal with entirely different aspects of your life; Property and Financial Affairs, and Health and Welfare. You can choose to have both or just one on its own.

  • A Property and Financial Affairs LPA deals with your money and property and can be used while you still have full mental capacity
  • A Health and Welfare LPA deals with your wellbeing/care issues and can only be used once you are unable to make decisions yourself, not before.

Giving a trusted person power of attorney over your health and welfare does not mean they will automatically gain control over your financial affairs and vice versa.

Key are here to help

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Things to consider

These pages give a general overview of the issues surrounding estate planning and are based on our understanding of the current law and tax regulation in England and Wales, which may be subject to change.
Page last updated: Wednesday 13 January 2021