DIY: Lasting Power of Attorney

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DIY: Lasting Power of Attorney
When you can't make health care and financial decisions for yourself, a lasting power of attorney ensures that decisions are made in your best interest. (elderly/man and woman leaving hand in hand image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com)

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal instrument, used in England and Wales, that gives an individual, known as the attorney, the power to act on behalf of another, known as the donor. There are two types of LPA, the Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs and the Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare. A donor may choose to execute one or both of these legal documents, depending upon anticipated needs and circumstances. Anyone over the age of 18 years who has the mental capacity to make decisions for himself can make a lasting power of attorney.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Lasting Power of Attorney Form Part A
  • Lasting Power of Attorney Form Part A Continuation Sheets A1, A2, A3:HW (optional)
  • Lasting Power of Attorney Form Part B
  • Lasting Power of Attorney Form Part C
  • Form LPA001: Notice of Intention to Apply for Registration
  • Form LPA002: Application to Register a Lasting Power of Attorney

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Complete the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) Form Part A. Pages 1 and 2 provide information and instructions. Page 3 collects demographic information on you and one or two designated attorneys. If you appoint only one attorney, mark through the section for information on the second attorney. To appoint more than two attorneys, complete LPA Form A Continuation Sheet A1.

  2. 2

    Complete one Continuation Sheet A1 for each additional attorney. On the blank lines, assign a number to the additional attorney, such as "Attorney Three," and provide the name, address and birth date of the proposed attorney.

  3. 3

    Select a replacement attorney. The replacement attorney will act on your behalf if your other attorney is not able or no longer willing to serve as your attorney. Complete LPA Form A Page 4, providing the name, address and birth date of your replacement attorney. A second replacement attorney can be designated by using a Continuation Sheet A1. On the blank lines, write a label, such as "Second Replacement Attorney," and provide the name, address and birth date of the second replacement attorney.

  4. 4

    Determine how your attorneys, if you have chosen more than one, should act on your behalf. Page 5 of LPA Form A offers three options: jointly, jointly and severally, and jointly for some decisions and jointly and severally for other decisions. If you choose jointly, all of your attorneys must agree for an action to take place. If you choose jointly and severally, your attorneys may make decisions for you either together or individually. If you choose jointly for some decisions and jointly and severally for other decisions, explain on the blank lines, detailing which decisions must be made jointly and which decisions may be made either jointly or severally. For example, you may want all attorneys to agree regarding where you will live; however, you want any of your attorneys to make decisions regarding your medications.

  5. 5

    Indicate your wishes on life-sustaining treatments by selecting either Option A or Option B on LPA Form A Page 6. If you select Option A, your attorneys will be responsible for making decisions regarding life-sustaining treatments. If you select Option B, your doctor will make this decision, taking into account the views of your attorneys and family members.

    If you can't render your signature or make your mark, use LPA Form A Continuation Sheet A:HW Pages 1 and 2. Page 1 designates an individual who may sign for you. The designated person signs Page 1. The signature of the designated person must be witnessed by two individuals. Names, addresses and signatures of the two witnesses are collected on Page 2.

  6. 6

    State any conditions or restrictions to the power of your attorneys to make decisions for you by completing Page 7 of LPA Form A. Any conditions or restrictions stated by you will be binding on your attorneys. However, Page 7 also provides space for you to give guidance to your attorneys. Guidance is not legally binding, so your attorneys may or may not follow these suggestions.

    If additional space is needed, use LPA Form A Continuation Sheet A2.

  7. 7

    Stipulate on LPA Form A Page 7 if you want your attorneys to be paid for their services. This amount will be above and beyond the costs incurred by your attorneys while they are acting on your behalf, because attorneys can collect reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses on the donor's behalf.

  8. 8

    Designate people to be told about your proposed lasting power of attorney by completing Page 8 of LPA Form A. Your attorneys and replacement attorneys may not be used for this purpose. Instead, select up to five members of your family or friends to be informed about your decision to make a lasting power of attorney. The selected people will then express any questions or concerns they have regarding your decisions. Page 8 allows for the designation of two people. If you choose additional people to be told, use a Continuation Sheet A1. Up to three individuals may be named on this sheet, such as "Person to be Told Number Three." Provide names and addresses for each individual under their respective label.

  9. 9

    Notify each person to be told, either through mail or hand delivery, by Form LPA001: Notice of Intention to Apply for Registration. A person to be told has five weeks in which to raise questions or complaints.

  10. 10

    Choose a witness to your signature. Complete Page 9 of LPA Form A, providing the name and address of your witness. The witness must sign this page.

  11. 11

    Render your signature in the presence of your witness. Sign each Continuation Sheet A1 and A2 (if applicable). Sign LPA Form A Page 6 under the option you have chosen, either A or B. Sign LPA Form A Page 9. Your witness must also sign this page.

    DIY: Lasting Power of Attorney
    Sign your lasting power of attorney application before a witness. (business woman #13 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com)
  12. 12

    Select a certificate provider. The certificate provider may be a non-family member who has known you for at least two years, or a professional who has sufficient knowledge of you to determine that you are mentally capable of making an informed decision regarding the lasting power of attorney. The certificate provider must complete Pages 10 and 11 of LPA Form B.

  13. 13

    Provide copies of LPA Form A and Form C to each of your selected attorneys. The attorneys should read Part A and complete Part C. Each attorney must sign and date a separate Part C before a witness.

  14. 14

    Mail the completed LPA Form along with LPA002: Application to Register a Lasting Power of Attorney to the Office of the Public Guardian. Include appropriate fees.

Tips and warnings

  • A lasting power of attorney supplants any previous advance decisions to treatment.
  • If you are not able to pay the required fee, you may apply for a waiver of the fee. For additional information, see Resources.
  • A lasting power of attorney is legal in England and Wales only. It is not recognised in other parts of the United Kingdom, specifically Northern Ireland and Scotland.

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