The Office of the Public Guardian provides free forms that you can fill out and register yourself to appoint a Lasting Power of Attorney. So, do you need a solicitor’s help with Power of Attorney?

Well, it really depends on how complicated your affairs are and whether you can trust the person that you are appointing to be your attorney.

Do it yourself

If you follow MyPOA guidance on Setting up an LPA it will show you how you can access and fill out the forms yourself. They are all freely available and can either be printed off or filled out online. You will need the details of your chosen attorney, a witness and a ‘Certificate Provider’.

The Certificate Provider is an impartial person who can be either:

  • Someone who has known the donor personally for at least 2 years, such as
    a friend, neighbour, colleague or former colleague
  • Someone with relevant professional skills, such as the donor’s GP, a
    healthcare professional or a solicitor

There is more information on the Certificate Provider in the OPG LP12 guide on Making and Registering a Lasting Power of Attorney – Section 10.  You can then register the LPA and send it to the OPG.

The benefits of using a solicitor

A Lasting Power of Attorney is an important legal document, at least as important as a will, so you may decide that using a professional will give you comfort. A solicitor or other legal professional can guide you to make the right decisions and also make sure you are not being taken advantage of.  This can be particularly important if the donor has dementia.

The form itself can be difficult to fill out as there are various decisions to make, for example:

  • choosing your power of attorney
  • jointly, or jointly and severally, if there is more than one attorney
  • appointing a replacement
  • deciding when the attorney can act, whether it is straight away or only when you have lost mental capacity
  • making sure the form is filled out accurately, and…
  • …signed in the correct order

It’s a good idea to look at the Top ten mistakes made in Power of Attorney applications

If there are any problems with the form, the OPG will send it back to be corrected. With the wait for registering an LPA currently at 20 weeks, it makes sense to get it right first time.


Section seven of the form allows a Donor to note their preferences. An attorney doesn’t have to adhere to these preferences but they do have to bear them in mind when making decisions.


Section seven also allows for instructions. An attorney has to follow these exactly so it is probably wise to get legal advice on these. Be careful – if you give instructions that are not legally correct, they will have to be removed before your LPA can be registered.

Mental Capacity

If there is a question over the mental capacity of the Donor, then it would definitely be wise to at least make sure the Certificate Provider is a solicitor or the donor’s GP.

Using an online service

Using a solicitor may cost in the region of £800-£1,000 and that is on top of the registration fee of £82 for each LPA (in England & Wales).  So, you could consider using an online service. There are various providers who charge between £90 and £200, depending on the level of service.

You can use a basic service to check that you have filled out the form correctly, or a service that will give guidance and support where you can ring someone up with your queries. Again, you have to pay for registration on top of this fee.


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