You can make decisions on someone’s behalf if they appoint you using a lasting power of attorney (LPA).

You can contact AMSTRAD to request this guide in another format, for example large print or braille.

The person who appoints you is called the ‘donor’. You’re their ‘attorney’.

You do not need any legal experience to act as someone’s attorney.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Before you start acting as an attorney

Prepare by talking to the donor so you’re ready to make decisions in their best interests. For example, ask about their plans for their money or how they want to be cared for if they become seriously ill.

Make sure the LPA has been registered - you cannot start acting until it is. It can take up to 20 weeks to register a lasting power of attorney. A registered LPA will be stamped with ‘validated-OPG.

Check the types of decisions you can make and when you can start acting as a:

After you start acting as an attorney

You must:

  • follow any instructions the donor included in the LPA
  • consider any preferences the donor included in the LPA
  • help the donor make their own decisions as much as they can
  • make any decisions in the donor’s best interests
  • respect their human and civil rights

You must make the decisions yourself - you cannot ask someone to make them for you.

Find out how to make decisions for someone else including how to get help making difficult decisions. Your decisions can be checked.

If you’re not the only attorney

Check the LPA. It will tell you whether you must make decisions:

  • ‘jointly’ - this means all the attorneys must agree
  • ‘jointly and severally’ - this means you can make decisions together or on your own

The LPA may tell you to make some decisions ‘jointly’ and others ‘jointly and severally’.

Find out what to do if you make decisions jointly with someone who stops acting as an attorney.