A Quick Guide to Lasting Power of Attorney: Safeguarding Your Interests in Later Life

A Quick Guide to Lasting Power of Attorney: Safeguarding Your Interests in Later Life

As we move through the various stages of life, there comes a time when we must make critical arrangements that help safeguard our interests and protect our family’s welfare. One such essential legal arrangement is the lasting power of attorney (LPA), a measure that ensures your affairs are managed according to your wishes in the event of unexpected incapacity or health challenges. An LPA allows you to appoint someone – known as an attorney – to make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to do so. This arrangement is crucial to ensure your interests are cared for and your family’s needs met even in unforeseen circumstances with compassion and efficiency.

In this comprehensive guide, we will examine the concept of lasting power of attorney, its importance, and the types of LPA available, together with the process of setting one up. We aim to provide you with the knowledge and understanding needed to make informed decisions when it comes to safeguarding your interests in later life.

When considering the appointment of an attorney, it is vital to choose someone you can trust to make decisions in your best interest, considering your values and preferences. This may be a close family member, a trusted friend, or even a professional adviser. In any case, the decision should be made with care and utmost consideration for the individual’s ability to carry out their responsibilities in a reliable and compassionate manner.

1. The Importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney

A lasting power of attorney serves as a crucial safeguard for individuals, ensuring that their affairs are managed in their best interest even in the face of unexpected incapacity or health challenges. Here are some of the primary reasons why an LPA is essential:

– Proactive Decision-Making: An LPA allows you to maintain control over your affairs even when you can no longer make decisions yourself. By establishing an LPA, you’re actively deciding who will manage your affairs and under what circumstances.

– Financial Management: An LPA ensures that your chosen attorney can manage your finances to provide for your ongoing needs and support your family, ensuring that bills, mortgages, and other financial obligations are met without delay.

– Healthcare Decisions: In addition to managing your finances, an LPA allows your attorney to make vital healthcare decisions on your behalf, such as consenting to or refusing medical treatment.

– Family Security: An LPA provides your family with security, knowing that your affairs are being managed by a trusted individual who is acting in your best interest.

2. Types of Lasting Power of Attorney

There are two distinct types of lasting power of attorney:

– Property and Financial Affairs LPA: This type of LPA enables an attorney to manage your financial matters, such as paying bills, collecting income, managing investments, and selling or buying property.

– Health and Welfare LPA: This LPA empowers an attorney to make decisions related to your health and general welfare, including medical treatments, living arrangements, and daily care plans.

While it is possible to establish a single LPA for both property and financial affairs and health and welfare, many people choose to create separate LPAs to ensure that the chosen attorney has relevant expertise and understanding in managing the specific area of their affairs.

3. Setting Up a Lasting Power of Attorney

Establishing a lasting power of attorney is a relatively straightforward process, involving the following steps:

– Select an Attorney: Consider your options carefully and select a trusted individual to act as your attorney, ensuring that they have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities.

– Complete LPA Forms: Fill out the relevant LPA forms, available through the Office of the Public Guardian website or in hard copy format. Depending on whether you want to establish a property and financial affairs LPA, a health and welfare LPA, or both, you’ll need to complete the respective forms.

– Sign and Witness the Documents: Both you and your chosen attorney must sign the LPA forms in the presence of a witness. Additionally, a ‘certificate provider’ – someone who confirms that you understand the LPA’s implications and haven’t been coerced into creating it – also needs to sign the forms.

– Register the LPA: The final step is to register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), along with the payment of the registration fee. Note that the registration process may take several weeks or even months, so it is essential to establish and register your LPA well in advance of any need.

4. Considerations for Appointing an Attorney

When appointing an attorney for your LPA, it is essential to consider the following factors:

– Trust and Familiarity: Select someone you trust and have known for a significant period to ensure that they have a genuine interest in your welfare.

– Knowledge and Expertise: Your chosen attorney should possess basic knowledge of financial management and/or healthcare decision-making processes to manage your affairs effectively and in your best interest.

– Resilience and Patience: Acting as an attorney can be daunting and time-consuming. It is essential to choose someone with the resilience and patience needed to navigate complex decisions and procedures.

– Availability and Continuity: Check that your prospective attorney is reasonably available and willing to assume their role in the long run.


Instating a lasting power of attorney offers peace of mind and security in uncertain times. By taking the initiative to protect your interests through an LPA, you ensure that your affairs are managed in the best possible way, according to your unique values and preferences, and that your loved ones are cared for in times of need.

Our expertise and commitment make us a trusted partner in establishing lasting power of attorney tailored to your specific needs. Reach out to us today to discuss how we can support you in safeguarding your interests and securing your family’s well-being for the years to come.

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