2 Lasting Power of Attorney form
Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney is quite straightforward, so although you can pay a solicitor or will writer to set one up, it is also possible to go down the DIY route. Your relative (the donor) needs to sign the Lasting Power of Attorney forms, but if they want help, you could offer to get the forms and help to fill them in. You can get a Lasting Power of Attorney application form from the Office of the Public Guardian.
There is guidance with the forms, so that your relative knows what information is required in each section. Often they will be asked to provide supporting evidence from witnesses (this might be a friend, relative, GP or other health professional), who can confirm that they are still in good mental health and capable of making decisions.
Return the completed form to the Office of the Public Guardian to register the LPA together with the fee of £110.
Filling in the power of attorney form online
Get a Will from Which?
If you are involved with helping your relative manage his or her financial affairs, perhaps now is a good time to be thinking of making a will for yourself if you haven’t done so already. Make sure your treasured possessions go to the ones you love – see how we can help at Which? Wills.
You can also complete the Lasting Power of Attorney form online on this page of the GOV.UK website, in which case you only need to print out the filled-in version and sign with your relative and witnesses. Filling in the form online has the advantage that it reduces the risk of mistakes as it highlights any that you may make as you go along. It can be costly if you send in a form with errors because it will only be returned and you will have to do it again.
Useful tips for Lasting Power of Attorney forms
1. Your relative can choose more than one person to act as their attorney, but it is important to know of the distinction between joint attorneys, who must always act together, and those who are empowered to act 'jointly and severally'. Being able to act severally means each attorney can use their powers independently. This is especially helpful when attorneys live some distance apart. If the attorneys have joint powers, it also means that online and phone banking may not be possible - for more information, see Using a Lasting Power of Attorney.
2. If your relative is on a low income, or in receipt of certain benefits, they might be able to get the fee discounted or waived completely. For more information, see this page on the GOV.UK site.
3. It could take up to eight weeks for the authority to register your Lasting Power of Attorney, so it’s best to try to get the forms in before it is needed.
Making your own power of attorney
If you are involved with helping your relative make his or her power of attorney, perhaps now is a good time to be thinking of making your own as well. Knowing that such a good piece of later life planning is in place could give peace of mind to both yourself and your chosen attorney(s).
Use Which? Wills Power of Attorney Selector to help get the right Power of Attorney document for you or your relative.