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New or existing power of attorney

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If you’ve got questions about a power of attorney

A power of attorney (POA) gives someone the legal power to make decisions on behalf of someone – perhaps because of an illness. Whether you’re thinking of creating a POA, or you’ve been made an attorney, you might have questions about exactly how they work and what kind of decisions are involved.

There are 3 types of power of attorney

An ordinary power of attorney gives someone the power to make decisions about someone’s finances. It’s designed for use during a temporary period – like a hospital stay, or a holiday. A lasting power of attorney (LPA) gives someone the power to make decisions about finances, healthcare, or both if someone doesn’t want to make such decisions for themselves. Enduring powers of attorney (EDA) were replaced by LPAs in 2007, but existing agreements are still binding.

How we can help

If you’re thinking about creating a power of attorney, or you’re an attorney yourself and you don’t know what to do, our team of legal experts can help. We’ll talk you through the different kinds of power of attorney and explain in each case what decisions an attorney can and can’t make. We’ll explain all the terminology involved, and what paperwork must be completed to make a POA legally binding.

We’ll:

  • explain what a new or existing power of attorney means for you
  • help you understand what kinds of decisions are involved
  • advise you on the next steps

All advice contained within this section relates to England and Wales only.

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Meet your experts
Ben Rosser Sq Ben Rossor Ben joined Which? in 2015, prior to this having worked in private practice. He now enjoys using his knowledge to aid members with their issues and queries on wills, probate and estate management.
ID Photo Sarah Henley Sarah specialises in supporting our members on Wills, the probate process, Powers of Attorney and estate administration. See profile
Paul Hanford Sq Paul Handford With over 20 years of varied legal experience, Paul now specialises in private client work, which includes drawing up wills and deeds of trust. See profile
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