When choosing your Power of Attorney, you may be thinking of the same person for both a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Health and Wellbeing and for Finance and Property. Or you can appoint more than one for both to act alone or joint and severally.

Either way, you need to consider the decision wisely and take your time if you can. If the person is a lay person, i.e. someone who is not acting in a professional capacity, you need to make sure they are going to be comfortable doing the job for you.

Who can I choose?

Being an attorney is an onerous task and gives a great deal of power and responsibility.  So, when choosing someone to have the Lasting Power of Attorney, you should think about whether you can trust the person you are appointing.  Also, whether that person has enough time for the task at hand. Some donors will have simple finances and health, but others will have complex needs that will take up more time.

The attorney can be a family member, a spouse, a civil partner, a friend or a professional, such as a solicitor or an accountant. The attorney must be aged over 18 and must have mental capacity to make their own decisions. They cannot be subject to bankruptcy. They do not need to live in the UK or be a British citizen.


When choosing an attorney for finance, a donor may want to think about:

  • how well they look after their own affairs, for example, their finances
  • do they own any property?
  • do they run their own business?
  • are they familiar with tax affairs?
  • how well do you really know them?
  • do you trust them to make decisions in your best interests?
  • how capable will they be to make decisions for you?
  • can they work well with others?
  • are they compliant and law-abiding?
  • do they live nearby?

When choosing an attorney for health, a donor may want to think about:

  • how well they look after their own health.
  • are they compassionate?
  • do they understand your needs if you have any?
  • can they make decisions under pressure?
  • can they communicate with the medical profession?
  • Are they squeamish?
  • Are they assertive?
  • Are they articulate?
  • do they understand your wishes?

There are five principles that an attorney must abide by – you can read more in How to act as an Attorney.


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