Lasting Power of Attorney
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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal tool that allows you to appoint someone to make certain decisions on your behalf. The appointed person can manage your finances for you in the future if you reach a point where you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. They can also make decisions relating to your health and welfare. This factsheet explains what an LPA is and why you might consider making one. It also provides practical advice about how to apply.
The information in this factsheet is for people living in England and Wales, and isn't intended for those living in Northern Ireland, where the laws governing powers of attorney are different. For information about the laws in Northern Ireland, see factsheet NI472, Enduring Power of Attorney and Controllership.
There are a number of ways that you can plan your care for the future; collectively this is called 'advance care planning'. The purpose is to allow you to make choices and decisions about your future care, in case there is a time when you cannot make decisions for yourself (known as lacking mental capacity). This can ensure that a person you have chosen has the power to act on your behalf in situations you have agreed, and that you aren't given treatment that you don't wish to receive.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are just one way to plan ahead. Other decisions that you can make in advance include deciding if you would like to make an advance statement or advance decision about your future care. Making an advance decision or advance statement now can allow you to make decisions in case there comes a time in the future when you cannot. For example, you may decide now that you wish to refuse certain treatment, or make decisions about other care choices
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