You can grant a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to another person (or people) to enable them to make decisions about your health and welfare, or decisions about your property and financial affairs.
Separate legal documents are made for each of these decisions, appointing one or more attorneys for each.
Powers of attorney can be made at any time when the person making it has the mental capacity to do so, provided they’re 18 or over.
An LPA must be registered. An LPA can be registered at any time, but a personal welfare LPA will only be effective once the person has lost the capacity to make their own decisions.
When acting under an LPA, an attorney (the appointed person) must:
- make sure the MCA’s statutory principles are followed
- check whether the person has the capacity to make that particular decision for themselves – if they do, a personal welfare LPA can’t be used and the person must make the decision
In addition, the Court of Protection will be able to appoint deputies who can also take decisions on health and welfare and financial matters if the person concerned lacks the capacity to make a decision.
They’ll come into action when the court needs to delegate an ongoing series of decisions rather than one decision.
If the person concerned already has an LPA appointed, they won’t normally need a deputy as well.
The Office of the Public Guardian registers LPAs, and supervises court-appointed deputies.
It provides evidence to the Court of Protection and information and guidance to the public.
The Public Guardian works with a range of agencies, such as the financial sector, police and social services, to investigate concerns.