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Power of attorney
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Power of attorney

A power of attorney allows someone, usually a relative or friend, to make important decisions on your behalf if you’re not able to, or might become unable to in the future.

Which? Legal can help you set up a power of attorney, either temporarily or for the long-term.

The most common reasons for obtaining a power of attorney include:

  • When someone is in hospital or in care and needs day-to-day matters taken care of.
  • When someone has been diagnosed with a health condition such as Alzheimer’s that may cause them to lose mental capacity in the future, and affect their ability to make suitable decisions about their affairs and care.

The ‘donor’ is the person who is appointing someone to make decisions on their behalf.

The ‘attorney’ is the person acting on the applicant’s behalf.

There are two types of power of attorney - one or both may be required in any given case:

General power of attorney

This allows someone to take care of financial matters on the behalf of a person who has mental capacity, but is temporarily in hospital care, or has short- or long-term difficulties with communication or mobility which may restrict them

Lasting power of attorney

This becomes active once someone has lost their mental capacity. It allows the appointed person to make financial, health and care decisions on their behalf.

It’s important to note that a power of attorney can only be set up before someone has lost their mental capacity. If they’ve already lost the ability to make decisions, you’ll need to apply through a court order instead.

Find out which type of power of attorney you need and get all the information you need to successfully complete the application process.

Which? Wills offers an affordable option for your power of attorney application.

  • Straightforward, step-by-step guidance with the paperwork
  • Expert legal review of your application is also available
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Meet your experts
Sarah Henley Sarah trained and worked in private practice in Bristol before joining Which? Legal as a qualified solicitor in January 2018. Sarah provides advice to members on Wills and Powers of Attorney. See profile
James Buchan James qualified as a Solicitor in 2009 and manages our Wills & Probate advice team. Before joining Which in 2018, James worked in-house as a Trust Manager with Coutts Bank. See profile
Ben Rosser Ben joined Which? Legal in 2015 as a wills and probate specialist. Ben trained and qualified in private practice and now advises on a range of legal issues, including estate administration. See profile