A permanent power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the “donor”) to appoint one or more persons (known as “lawyers”) 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. It will end if you lose your mental capacity to make decisions. A power of attorney gives the attorney the legal authority to deal with third parties, such as banks or the local council.
The power of attorney is a legal document in which one person (the donor) grants another person the right to make decisions on their behalf. You could cancel a power of attorney document or issue a partial revocation deed for as long as you had 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), this means that they 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. The Public Guardian's Office has the power to cancel powers of attorney if it believes this is the right thing to do. If you wish, you can 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 you 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.
Their contact details 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.