Lasting Power of Attorney and why it is so important

If you’re married or in a civil partnership, you may have assumed that your spouse would automatically be able to deal with your bank account and pensions, and make decisions about your healthcare, if you lose the ability to do so. This is not the case. Without an LPA, they won’t have the authority the same also applies to your adult children or other relatives.

The guidance from the British Bankers’ Association states that if one joint account holder loses mental capacity then that Bank can decide to restrict the use of that account to essential transactions only e.g living expenses and residential care or medical bills. They could even freeze the account until a Court of Protection application has been registered which is an expensive and time consuming application process.


A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust, your attorney, the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lose the mental capacity to make you own decisions or are unable to make your wishes known because you are not conscious due to an injury caused by an accident or other illness to do so in the future, or you want help with finances from someone else. There are two types of LPA:


  • LPA for financial decisions

  • LPA for health and care decisions.


LPA for financial decisions


An 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 force if you lose capacity.

An LPA for financial decisions can cover things such as:

  • buying and selling property

  • paying the mortgage

  • investing money

  • paying bills

  • arranging repairs to property.

  • Accessing bank accounts, selling shares or dealing with your business affairs


LPA for health and care decisions


This covers health and care decisions and can only be used once you have lost mental capacity or are unable to make your wishes known through an accident or illness. An attorney can generally make 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 to make decisions about life-saving treatment.


Gradient can assist you appointing Attorneys and registering them with the Office of the Public Guardian.

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