Help with Lasting Power of Attorneys

Updated: 11 Apr 2024

Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) means that if you lose the capacity to manage your affairs, arrangements are in place for someone you trust to act on your behalf. John Aitken, our Head of Care and Welfare, gives some pointers on what you need to consider and organisations that can help.

Man giving his older mum a hug and giving her a bunch of yellow flowers. Both are smiling and happy

Looking after your financial affairs

‘Losing capacity’ means no longer having the understanding or mental faculties to make decisions.

Once someone loses capacity it is too late to set up a Power of Attorney. If this were to happen, family members would then need to apply to the Court of Protection to get access and take control of their assets and finances, which can be a lengthy and costly process.

It is sensible for any of us to consider putting an LPA in place, as none of us know what’s around the corner.

Anyone with a condition which could lead to a loss of capacity may need to consider an LPA with more urgency.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

There are two types of LPA and you can decide whether to do one or both:

  • A property and financial affairs LPA – this covers decisions about money matters, for example buying and selling property, dealing with bills and running bank accounts
  • A health and welfare LPA – this covers decisions about health and care matters including medical treatment, where someone should live and who they should have contact with.

You can choose to start using a property and financial LPA straight away, whereas a health and welfare LPA can only be used once the person has lost capacity.

How does an LPA work?

The person making the application is the ‘donor’ and can give power to an ‘attorney’ to make decisions and take actions on their behalf.

The donor can choose one or more attorneys and can, if they wish, specify what type of decisions they can make. If there is more than one attorney, the donor can specify whether they can act alone or must make decisions together. Once it has been drawn up, the LPA must be signed either by a solicitor or someone else of the donor’s choosing to certify the LPA and confirm that the person understands it and has not been pressured into making the LPA.

Family members cannot do an LPA for someone. Like a will, people must do it for themselves with no coercion.

How much does it cost?

It costs £82 to register each type of LPA (so £164 in total) with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). People on means-tested benefits or a low income can get an exemption or reduction of this fee. If you choose to use a solicitor, their costs will need to be added.

Making an application

1) Choose your attorney(s). Being an attorney is a big responsibility and you need to think carefully about who would be suitable.

Make sure the person you choose understands their responsibilities and is willing and able to carry them out. Attorneys must act in the donor’s best interests and follow the principles of the Mental Capacity Act, supporting the person to make their own decisions as far as possible.

Some people like to ask their children or other family members to be their Attorneys. You can ask anyone you trust to take on this role for you.

2) Make your application. You may decide to use a solicitor, especially if there are complicated financial or family issues involved.

Alternatively, if you are confident with form filling and legal and financial matters, you can apply yourself.

You can either fill the form in online at and then print it for everyone to sign or fill in a paper copy, which can either be downloaded from GOV.UK or requested by phone from the Office of the Public Guardian.

The forms will need to be completed and signed in the right order by the donor and a witness, the certificate provider and then by each attorney and their witness.

3) Register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. The LPA can’t be used until it has been registered. It is generally better to register the LPA as soon as you have completed it in case there are any problems with it.

Useful links has guidance on how to make an application and links to apply online or download a paper copy

The Office of the Public Guardian's helpline can send out LPA forms and assist with any queries on 0300 456 0300. For safeguarding concerns about an attorney call the OPG Safeguarding Unit on 0115 934 2777.

For Age UK’s Guide to Lasting Power of Attorney call 0800 678 1602 or go to

For the Alzheimer’s Society Lasting Power of Attorney factsheet call 0333 150 3456 or go to

Solicitors for the Elderly has a register of solicitors who specialise in helping older or vulnerable people and are signed up to their code of practice. Call 0844 567 6173 or go to

Oddfellows Citizens Advice Line* can help Oddfellows members with queries about LPAs. You can find their contact details on your membership card or in your Member Handbook. Members can also access it by signing in to the Members’ Area or by calling our Membership team or their Branch.

*Citizens Advice is an independent advice agency and is solely responsible for all advice it provides.

DISCLAIMER: Details correct as of July 2023. Links to third-party sites do not constitute an endorsement by the Oddfellows and use of the advertised products and services is entirely at your risk. The Oddfellows does not accept any liability or responsibility for any third party material on other websites.