St Martin's House, 63 West Stockwell St. Colchester, CO1 1HE
Tel: 01206 577676, Fax: 01206 548704

The Chestnuts, 4 Stortford Road, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1DA
Tel: 01371 873277, Fax: 01371 859232

Main Website:
Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm    Saturday 9am - 1pm

Lasting Powers of Attorney were introduced by new legislation effective from 1st October 2007. These documents replace Enduring Powers of Attorney which can no longer be made. However, any Enduring Powers of Attorney made before that date are still effective whether registered at the Office of the Public Guardian or not.

To make a Lasting Power of Attorney you need to be over the age of 18 and able to fully understand the document which you are making and also recognise the powers that you will be giving to the person or people you appoint to be your Attorney.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, one which relates to your Property and Financial Affairs and one which covers your Personal Welfare.

When making a Lasting Power of Attorney the Donor (which is the person making the document) can choose to inform an independent third party of the fact that they are making this document and also inform them of the person who will be their Attorney. This is a safeguard brought in to give some added protection to the Donor to ensure that they are not being pressurised to make the document.

A Certificate Provider is also required and this is the person who interviews the Donor immediately after they have made the Lasting Power of Attorney to ensure that the Donor understands the document which they have just made and is fully aware of all of the powers which they are giving their Attorney.

When choosing an Attorney, it is always best to seek that person’s agreement to the appointment first as their duties can be quite onerous. An Attorney must make all decisions in the best interests of the Donor. Within the document the Donor can stipulate any restrictions or conditions on decisions to be made by an Attorney. These restrictions and conditions are binding and must be followed. The Donor can also provide guidance for the Attorney whilst acting on their behalf although such guidance is not binding.

You can choose more than one Attorney and you can also choose to appoint a replacement Attorney who will act if the original Attorney is unable to for whatsoever reason. If you choose to have more than one Attorney (there is a maximum of 4), you can decide whether they make decisions jointly, jointly and independently or jointly for some decisions and independently for others.

The document has to be registered at The Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. There is a period of three weeks before the registration of the document is complete. Once it has been registered then it can be formally used by the Attorneys.

Our team here at GoodyBurrett can guide you through the whole process and ensure that the documents are completed accurately and registered at the Office of the Public Guardian. We can also act as the Certificate Provider if you so wish.

Property and Financial Affairs

This LPA document is completed in advance and registered, making it effective, whenever the Donor chooses. It remains effective when the Donor loses mental capacity. Alternatively it can be registered when the Donor is either losing or has lost his or her mental capacity but it should be borne in mind that the registration process may take six weeks to complete and can take longer to be returned if the Office of the Public Guardian are experiencing high levels of work.

Your Attorney is not permitted to make gifts on your behalf other than those that you have made on a regular basis which may be Christmas or Birthday presents to your family, or regular charitable donations.

Health and Welfare

This LPA document must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used, but will not come into being until such time as the Donor is deemed to have completely lost their mental capacity. This is decided either by the Attorney themselves or if there is any doubt then a medical opinion and report can be sought confirming this. The Attorney can make decisions relating to where the Donor lives, the medical treatment and medication they receive, what they eat and wear and who can visit the Donor.

Within the document itself the Donor can make an Advance Directive, if they choose to, to allow the Attorney to refuse life sustaining treatment (any treatment that a doctor considers necessary to keep them alive) on the Donor's behalf. This obviously needs serious consideration, and it may be advisable to consult a doctor in the first instance. If the Donor does not want their Attorney to make such a decision, there is an option to deny the Attorney the ability to do so.