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What is a lasting power of attorney?

Lasting power of attorney (LPA) advice and support for yourself or a loved one.

Lasting power of attorney support from Saga Legal

Saga Legal has partnered with Co-op Legal Services, who provide regulated legal services, helping to ensure you have the right level of support and protection for yourself and your family.

Without a lasting power of attorney (LPA), if you become unable to make your own decisions because of an accident or illness, no one can automatically step in to take care of things for you. This includes making decisions on your behalf about your health and care or helping to manage your finances or property. That’s why it’s so important to consider making an LPA while you’re able to do so.

An LPA is a legal document that lets you appoint someone you trust to step in and make important decisions for you, in case you’re ever unable to make these decisions yourself.

This person is called your attorney, and you can appoint them to make decisions about the health and care you receive or about your property and finances, or both. You can appoint just one attorney, or you can appoint multiple attorneys. You can also name replacements in case an attorney is unable to act.

By making an LPA, you can retain control over who manages your affairs, how decisions are made for you and what you would like to happen in certain situations.

Co-op Legal Services offers a range of service options to suit your needs. These include telephone appointments, video meetings and home visits.

How much does it cost?

Co-op Legal Services offer fixed fee services for making LPAs which means you don't have to worry about any hidden costs. You can appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf from £354.

Why is an LPA important?

If you’re ever in a position where you’re unable to make decisions for yourself, no one has the legal authority to make these decisions for you. Not even your immediate family. This is true even if you lose capacity just temporarily.

This is where your attorney comes in. With the right support you can set up an LPA that not only gives your attorney the authority to make these decisions for you, but also steers them in the right direction to help them make the right choices.

If you haven’t made an LPA and you become unable to make decisions yourself, the only option would be for someone (maybe not the person you want) to make a lengthy and expensive application through the court for a deputyship order. They would then need the court’s approval to make decisions based on what they think you might have wanted.

You can think of an LPA almost like an insurance policy – although you hope never to need it, it’s worthwhile to have it ready and waiting if you do.

There are two different types of LPAs

There are two types of LPA available in England and Wales. A financial decisions LPA covers any assets, property and money you own in England or Wales, while a health and care LPA covers your welfare, medical treatment and day to day care. You can put just one type of LPA in place, or you can put both in place to cover all bases.

Co-op Legal Services can help you to put either one or both types of LPA in place, with comprehensive guidance and support throughout.

Saga is a registered trading name of Saga Personal Finance Limited, which is registered in England and Wales (company number 3023493). Registered office 3 Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG. Saga is not authorised or regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). All legal services are provided by Co-op Legal Services. Co-op Legal Services is a trading name of Co-operative Legal Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the SRA, under registration number 567391.

Here and ready when you are

Whether you have questions about lasting power of attorney or just want to find out more, the expert team are on hand to help.

0800 096 7885

Mon - Thu 9:00am - 7:15pm
Fri - 9:00am - 6.15pm
Sat - Closed
Sun - Closed
Excluding bank holidays

Get LPA advice and support

Frequently asked questions

What is a lasting power of attorney?

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you appoint someone, known as your attorney, that you trust to make important decisions for you if you’re ever unable to yourself.

Can my next of kin not make decisions for me anyway?

No one automatically has the legal authority to make decisions for you about your health and care or about your financial affairs, not even your spouse or your children. Many people don’t realise this until it’s too late.

Without an LPA, someone who you may not have chosen will need to apply to the court for a deputyship order instead, which can be a lengthy and expensive process. If there isn’t a family member or friend willing to do this, the local authority will take control over decisions relating to your finances and welfare.

Is an LPA just for someone who is very old or unwell?

An accident or illness can happen at any time in life. To make an LPA, you need to have sufficient mental capacity to understand what you are doing. No one else can put this document in place for you after you have lost capacity.

If you wait until the LPA is needed to put one in place, it will already be too late.

Could my bank account be frozen if I become unable to manage my finances because of an accident or illness?

If you lose the ability to make your own decisions, your bank accounts could become frozen until someone is granted the authority to step in and manage these for you.

If you don’t already have an LPA in place, someone would need to make an application to the court for a deputyship order. This can be a costly and lengthy process.

Will my attorney have complete control over every aspect of my life?

You can choose the extent of some of the powers you grant to your attorney and you can stipulate when and how these powers are used. You can also include guidance for your attorney outlining your preferences and choices in certain situations. This means they can make informed decisions that they know align with your wishes.

This is one of the reasons why it’s important to seek professional advice when making an LPA, to ensure that the document is drafted in the right way.

Will my attorney have immediate control over my affairs if I make an LPA?

There are two types of LPA in England and Wales; one covers your health and care while the other covers your property and financial decisions. A health and care LPA will only come into effect if and when you lose capacity to make your own decisions.

If you are making a property and finances LPA, you can choose to activate it sooner if you want to (for example, if you want your attorney to be able to go to the bank on your behalf).

Can my attorney change my will?

Your attorney cannot change or update your will. An LPA does not give them legal authority to do so.

Will my attorney have free reign over my finances?

By making an LPA, you are not granting your attorney free reign over your finances. You decide how much control an attorney has over your finances and you decide the limits on what they can and cannot do with your assets. Your attorney is legally obliged to act in your best interests at all times, and if they fail to do so, they can be held accountable by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

Anyone can report the attorney to the OPG if they feel that the attorney is not acting in your best interests. The OPG will investigate the allegations to determine whether the LPA should be revoked.