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Making a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare

Steps to making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

There are three things you need to do to make an LPA:

  1. Choose your attorney and the other people involved.
  2. Complete the form (which is available from the Office of the Public Guardian website).
  3. Register the form with the OPG

An LPA must be registered with the OPG before it can be used. The OPG is part of the government’s Ministry of Justice department. It manages the LPA registration process and has a register of all LPAs. It can also investigate if somebody has concerns about the way an attorney is acting.

Who’s involved in making an LPA?

There are a number of people involved in making an LPA. They are:

The donor

The donor is the person making the LPA (you).

Your attorney

Your attorney can be anyone over the age of 18 who has capacity.

Certificate provider

The certificate provider is someone who signs the LPA form to check that you understand what you’re doing and that nobody is putting pressure on you to make the LPA. They can either be someone who has known you well for at least two years (like a friend or neighbour), or a professional (like a doctor or solicitor).

A certificate provider can’t be:

  • under 18
  • a family member
  • a business partner or your paid employee (if you have one)
  • your attorney or replacement attorney
  • the owner, director, manager or an employee of a care home in which you live or a member of their family

People to notify when you make an LPA

On the LPA form, you have the option to list up to five people who will be notified that you’re making the LPA when it’s sent to be registered. They don’t have to sign the form itself but you’ll need to send them a notification letter when you register the LPA. They are then given three weeks to say if they have any concerns or objections. This helps to check that no one is pressuring you to make the LPA.

Naming people to be notified is optional, so you don’t have to name anyone if you don’t want to.


Somebody will need to act as a witness when you and your attorney sign the LPA form. This means that they must watch you sign and then they themselves must also sign the form.

The person who witnesses your signature can be different to the person who witnesses your attorneys’ signature. They must be over the age of 18 and can’t be one of your attorneys or replacement attorneys. Your witness can be the same person as your certificate provider.

Getting an LPA form

You can get an LPA form in one of three ways. You can:

  1. Complete it online.
  2. Download it from the OPG website.
  3. Ask the OPG to send a form (you can phone 0300 456 0300 or email customerservices@publicguardian.gsi.gov.uk).

For more information on completing the LPA form read our factsheet LPA – A guide to filling in the form.


Mr Cox's story

Mr Cox has motor neurone disease. He is very clear that he does not want to receive life-sustaining treatment of any sort once he gets to the stage where he cannot communicate. He is very close to his daughter and they have talked about what he wants but he is worried that she may not be asked for her views if he is taken into hospital.

Mr Cox appoints his daughter to be his Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare. This gives him the peace of mind of knowing that she has the legal power to make decisions about his treatment if he cannot communicate.