Lasting Powers of Attorney – Property and Financial Affairs

Wills, Trusts & Probate insights

There are two types of LPAs: Lasting Powers of Attorney – Property and Financial Affairs (PFA LPA) and Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Welfare (HW LPA). Please see our separate factsheet on (LPAHW). Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) made before 1st October 2007 are still valid.


What is a PFA LPA?

A PFA LPA is a legal document by which you (the Donor) can appoint one or more persons (the Attorney) to make financial decisions on your behalf. The LPA is called ‘lasting’ because it lasts should you lose mental capacity to confirm decisions.


Why should I make a PFA LPA?

It allows you to specify in advance who you wish to make decisions for you should you ever lose the capacity to make those decisions yourself. This could mean your Attorney will be able to arrange for care home fees to be paid or can arrange to let or sell your home, manage investments, run a business and access personal financial information.

If you lose the mental capacity to manage your finances and affairs and have not made a PFA LPA or EPA, there will be nobody who will have legal

authority to step in and manage your affairs and the Court will need to appoint a Deputy to look after your affairs. This involves greater formality and expense.


Who do I appoint as my Attorney(s)?

Someone you can trust absolutely with your finances and who ideally has financial experience. Spouses, civil partners, children, relatives, friends or professionals (a solicitor or accountant) or a mixture may be suitable. Any proposed attorney must be at least 18 years of age and cannot be an undischarged or interim bankrupt.

The Property and Financial Affairs Attorney(s) and the Health and Welfare Attorney(s) may be one and the same person, but this is not a requirement.


How many Attorneys?

One, two or even three is not uncommon. You can name a replacement in case an Attorney is unable to or no longer wishes to act for you.

An Attorney can change their mind and decide not to act for you but must formally notify you and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). You can specify your wish that Attorneys act together in some matters and independently in respect of others.


Can my Attorney make gifts for me?

An Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs can make gifts from your estate in limited circumstances.


Can my Attorney’s powers be limited?

You may restrict the decisions your Attorney can make on your behalf by expressing these as conditions or restrictions in the PFA LPA (e.g. you might include a condition preventing them from selling your home).


Can I give my Attorney guidance?

The LPAPA allows you to give guidance to the Attorney(s). Any guidance given is not legally binding but the Attorney(s) should take it into account when making any decisions for you.


When can my Attorney act?

A Property and Affairs Attorney can only act for the donor once the PFA LPA has been registered, whether or not you lack capacity to make your own decisions.


Are there any other requirements?

You will also need to obtain a certificate by someone independent (a Certificate Provider) to certify that you understand the nature and scope of the PFA LPA; that you are not being put under pressure to sign it; and that there is no other reason to prevent it being granted. The Certificate Provider can either be a professional such as a solicitor or a doctor or someone who has known you for at least two years.


What is the registration process?

Either you or an Attorney may apply for registration. The PFA LPA only becomes effective when it is registered with the OPG. There is a registration fee.

Once the application to register a PFA LPA has been received, the OPG must give notice to you and the Attorney(s).

The PFA LPA can operate from the time it is made and registered at the OPG.

The OPG is responsible for maintaining a register of LPAs (and EPAs). Any person can apply to the OPG to carry out a search of the register.

Can my LPAPA be cancelled?

The PFA LPA once registered, can only be cancelled by the Court of Protection, provided you have the mental capacity to do so. You must notify the OPG and the Attorney(s) that the PFA LPA has been revoked.


These notes are not exhaustive and are meant as a basis for discussion with your legal adviser. If clients wish to discuss any of the above, please contact our Private Client Team 020 8940 4051 who will be pleased to help you

IMPORTANT: this information is intended to be a general statement of the law. No action should be taken in reliance on it without seeking specific legal advice.

Our Private Client team

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