Power of Attorneys

There are several reasons why you might need to give someone else the authority to act on your behalf to manage your affairs, whether temporary or permanently. The authority is given in a legal document known as a Power of Attorney. This document grants another person, referred to as Attorney or Agent, authority to act on your behalf in terms of the content and conditions placed in the Power of Attorney.

The duties and powers given to your agent varies according to your requirements and circumstances.

General Power of Attorney

The General Power of Attorney is used by a grantor to give another individual power to act on your behalf whilst you still have full mental capacity.

Some of the typical duties given or covered in a General Power of Attorney are:

  • signing documentation on behalf of the grantor in instances where they are travelling or working abroad.
  • taking medical or financial decisions for you either generally or in limited circumstances
  • if you wish to appoint someone to attend appointments or meetings and you wish to give them authority to take decisions on your behalf

This authority may be temporary or permanent and may be withdrawn or cancelled at any time by the grantor. A General Power of Attorney can only be signed and implemented whilst the grantor has full capacity and automatically ceases if the grantor loses mental capacity or passes away.

Special Power of Attorney

This is a power of attorney put in place by the grantor giving their agent or attorney capacity to act on their behalf for a specific purpose. The authority and power this document grants to the agent are limited and concise.

Lasting Power of Attorney

You may need to make longer-term plans if, for example, you have been diagnosed with dementia and you may lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions in the future.
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust, a family member or your attorney (agent), the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lose the mental capacity to do so in the future, or if you no longer want to make decisions for yourself. A lasting power of attorney can only be put in place whilst you have full mental capacity, but will remain valid until the grantor passes away.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorneys:

Property and financial decisions

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for financial decisions can be used while you still have mental capacity, or you can state that you only want it to come into effect if you lose capacity.

An LPA for financial decisions can cover things such as:

  • buying and selling property
  • paying the mortgage bonds
  • investing money
  • paying bills
  • arranging repairs to property

You can restrict the types of decisions your attorney or agent can make or let them make all decisions on your behalf.
If you are drawing up an LPA for financial decisions, your attorney must keep records of accounts and make sure their financial affairs are kept separate from yours. You may ask for regular updates and details of how much has been spent and all your financial details. You can instruct that these details be sent to your accountant, solicitor or a family member should you lose mental capacity. This offers an extra layer of protection.

Health and welfare decisions

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for health and welfare decisions covers health and care decisions and can only be used once you have lost mental capacity.

An attorney or agent acting under the LPA for health and care can generally take decisions about things such as:

  • where you should live
  • your medical care
  • what you should eat
  • who you should have contact with
  • what kind of social activities you should take part in.

You can also give special permission for your attorney or agent to make decisions about life-saving treatment.

Lasting Power of Attorneys (generally) cannot be withdrawn or changed after you lose mental capacity.

Mental Health Act 1983 UK

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Mental Health Act SA

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Other ways that we can help you:

Last Will and Testaments (Wills)

Administration of Deceased Estates (Probates)


Estate and Financial Planning