Applying for PoA

The UK population is ageing. And, as we get older, we're more likely to develop health problems and illnesses. So more and more of us are arranging for someone we trust to look after our affairs for us. One way of doing that is with a power of attorney.

It's sometimes hard to talk about getting old or no longer being able to do what used to be easy. But it's a fact of life so don't put things off – it’s best to start thinking and talking about it sooner rather than later.

If you don't, and you lose mental capacity, it'll be too late to set up an LPA. The only option then will be to go through to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order – which is time consuming and more expensive.

Although a health and welfare LPA isn't relevant to BT, it makes sense to set one up at the same time as a property and financial affairs LPA.

Appointing attorneys

Your attorney(s) must always act in your best interest, consider your needs and wishes and help you make decisions as far as they can.

Deputyship order

A deputyship order is an order made by the Court of Protection. It appoints a deputy to make decisions about a person's personal welfare or property and financial affairs if they lose the mental capacity to manage these things themselves.

Differences between a deputyship order and a Lasting Power of Attorney

They're both legal documents authorising someone else to make decisions for a person who's lost mental capacity. But an LPA is made by a person while they still have mental capacity and a deputyship application is made on behalf of somebody who has lost their capacity.

With a deputyship order, the court decides who makes decisions on your behalf. If you make an LPA while you have mental capacity, you choose the person you want to make such decisions for you.

What you need to do to get an LPA

Setting up and using an LPA is fairly straightforward. We've broken it down into five steps.

1. More than one person can act as your attorney, but you need to choose them carefully and you might want to get legal advice, especially if your LPA isn't straightforward.

2. Once you've made your choice, you need to fill in an LPA form. The best way to do this is on the website. Or you can download the forms or ask the Office of the Public Guardian to post them to you.

3. If you've got an unregistered Enduring Power of Attorney (EPAs were replaced by LPAs in 2007) you can still use it. But your attorney will need to register it if they believe you are, or are becoming, mentally incapable.

4. If you want to use a registered LPA or EPA with BT, see PoA and BT. You'll need to contact other organisations to find out what documents they need.

5. Once you've filled in the application, you need to register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian before you can use it. There's a fee for this but you might not need to pay it. You’ll find more details about this on the website.

Once registered with the OPG, you can use the original or certified copies as evidence that you're qualified to act as an attorney.

Accessing & sharing information

Acting on behalf of a person with dementia

The law in this area can be complex for both people and organisations, leading to confusion about the rights people have under the Data Protection Act. This publication supports people affected by dementia to understand their rights. It has been put together by the Alzheimer's Society with the help of various businesses including BT.

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