A Permanent Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you, the donor, to appoint one or more people (known as attorneys) to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf. An ordinary power of attorney allows someone to take care of your financial affairs for a temporary period, and it will end if you lose your mental capacity to make decisions. This document grants the attorney the legal authority to deal with third parties, such as banks or the local council. You can cancel a power of attorney document or issue a partial revocation deed for as long as you have the mental capacity to do so legally.
If you want to establish an ordinary power of attorney, you should contact the local Citizens Assistance Council or get advice from a lawyer, as there is a standard form of wording that should be used. Lawyers appointed to act together (also known as joint lawyers) must always act together. If you want to talk to someone about whether you should establish a permanent power of attorney now, contact the Public Guardian's Office. This office has the power to cancel powers of attorney if it believes this is the right thing to do.
You can also specify a time period for an ordinary power of attorney or restrict it to specific activities. If you want someone to act on your behalf in financial or medical decisions, you'll need to give them a power of attorney over your affairs. The word lawyer in this context is someone (or, in some circumstances, an organization such as a company) legally appointed or empowered to act on behalf of another person. We explain who you can choose, how they should act, and what you can do if your lawyer is not acting in your interest. You can limit the power you give your lawyer so that they can only deal with certain assets, for example, your bank account but not your house.
Choosing a substitute lawyer protects against cancellation of the power of attorney if the originals can no longer act. The Public Guardian's Office has contact details which are explained in Section 2.2, below, entitled “The Role of OPG in Relation to Durable Powers of Attorney”. The Court of Protection may cancel an LPA if an attorney does not act in the best interests of a person and makes excessive donations to himself or others. If you act under a permanent power of attorney, there are rules on how to make a decision for a donor who has lost his mental capacity. To apply for a permanent power of attorney, the donor must complete the application forms with details for himself, the lawyers and another person known as the certificate provider to attest that the decision has been made with the donor's understanding and agreement. The lawyer can say that he no longer wants to be a lawyer; he must do so on Form LPA 005 that is sent to the donor, the Public Guardian's Office, and any other attorney.