UK Accounting Glossary
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which gives somebody else the authority to take control of the financial affairs of another person or to make decisions regarding the health and welfare of that person if they do not have the capacity to do so themselves. So, essentially, it is giving somebody else the power to act on your behalf if you yourselves can’t. This does not mean that a stranger can act on your behalf, it is somebody that you feel able to trust, usually a relative or friend, who will act for you if, due to mental or physical factors, you are unable to do so.
It can be made now for the future, thereby giving the attorney the authority to act on your behalf when you either can’t or choose not to take such decisions. It is, therefore, an important document which must adopt a specific legal format:
Who can be an attorney
The attorney must:
It is obviously a position of great responsibility and the donor, if they are in a position to do so, should check that the attorney is happy to be put into this position and also that they are capable of making these difficult decisions.
The donor can be anyone who:
Is over the age of 18
Has the capacity to understand the nature and meaning of the document.
Because it is a very personal document, it cannot be made with somebody else. So, a husband and wife, for instance, would need to make separate documents.
The LPA first has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. It is also important to note that an attorney can act even if the donor still has mental capacity in a Property and Affairs LPA, though only if the donor has lost mental capacity in a Personal Welfare LPA.
To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.
Definitions for Lasting Power Of Attorney are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:
This glossary post was last updated: 26th February 2020.