Lasting Power of Attorney: What Does It Really Mean?

How much do you really know about assigning Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust, your attorney, the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lose the mental capacity to do so in the future, or if you no longer want to make decisions for yourself.

There are two types of LPA, financial decisions and health and care decisions. An LPA for financial decisions can be used once it is registered and while you still have mental capacity, or you can state that you only want it to come into force if you lose capacity. An LPA for financial decisions can cover things such as buying and selling property and investing money. 

An LPA for health and care decisions covers health and care decisions and can only be used once you have lost mental capacity. An attorney can generally make decisions about things such as where you should live and your medical care. You can also give special permission for your attorney to make decisions about life-saving treatment.

There are several points worth considering before you grant LPA:

  • You can appoint your LPA at any age – After you turn 18 you can set the people you trust to handle your affairs; this does not have to be a parent and can be any person you trust to act on your behalf. To avoid surprises, it is advised that an application be made as soon as possible.
  • A common misconception is that your spouse is automatically granted LPA, this is not the case. It is therefore recommended they be assigned POA to protect them from confusion and stress should anything go wrong.
  • The process may take some time. In some cases, registration may take up to 20 weeks, so it is important that you fill out the application as soon as possible and far in advance of any situations where it may be necessary, i.e. in the case of degenerative condition.
  • The submission of these forms can be carried out independently of any official legal advice, but it is always better to be safe than sorry, as any mistakes can lead to costly delays in the process. Having a solicitor support you in your application will allow it to be handled as swiftly and smoothly as possible.
  • Time is not on your side, as once you lose mental capacity, you also lose the ability to assign Lasting Power of Attorney. Instead, family members must apply to the Court of Protection, which is a lengthy and expensive process in comparison. Setting up your LPA early allows your family the peace of mind that your affairs are managed safely by someone you trust.

It is important that you only grant Lasting Power of Attorney to someone you know will have your best interests in mind. They’ll be able to manage your money, property, and healthcare decisions, and will be able to act on your behalf. To avoid any surprises, choose a close friend, partner, or family member that you can trust with your wellbeing.

If you have any questions about how to assign Lasting Power of Attorney, or if you wish to speak to us about how we can support your application, please contact us on 0208 891 4311 for a free no-obligation initial consultation.

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David Thorley


David works on civil litigation with a particular interest in disputes arising from wills, probate and trusts. Beyond this, he has experience with claims in a range of fields including: employment; property/landlord and tenant; company law/insolvency; construction; and debt recovery.

David qualified as a solicitor in 2022 having previously worked in academia and journalism. This background has given him a clear-sighted perspective on the cases he handles, a ready appreciation of the complex issues at stake, and a pragmatic approach to advising clients.

Chris Wright


Chris initially qualified and practiced at the Bar for several years before going into industry with two major UK construction and engineering companies. He left this position to become a senior partner at a law firm where he handled a range of domestic and international construction and engineering law matters. He was an Adjudicator on the TeCSA panel, and acted as a reviewer for the FIDIC White Book Conditions. He has contributed to a text book on BIM and Quantity Surveying. 

Chris remains a member of the Society of Construction Law where he brings his experience as a consultant on construction law matters. He is also a practising Mediator and Arbitrator, being both an FCIArb and an Associate of the Civil Mediation Council.

Peter Arnstein


Peter qualified as a solicitor following his training with a firm on Richmond Green and has since worked with firms on both sides of the river. Initially specialising in criminal law and dispute resolution, he later brought the forensic skills he had acquired to residential and commercial conveyancing, Wills and Probate. His approach in acting for clients has always been to look for problems and offer solutions.  

Peter is delighted to have now joined Baron Grey where he continues to look after clients old and new, seeking to provide an approachable and professional service to all.

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Feel free to get in touch with us via phone or email, or complete the form and one of our solicitors will be delighted to call you back.

James Atkins

Associate Solicitor

James is a private client solicitor specialising in wills, trusts, powers of attorney and estate administration. He graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in English Literature in 2013 and went on to complete his law conversion course at BPP University. 

James trained at Baron Grey and after a sabbatical in Russia has recently re-joined the firm. James has a very friendly and approachable manner and is an asset to Baron Grey.

Lara Symons


Lara Symons qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has specialised in all aspects of Immigration Law since then. Lara was formally the head of the Immigration Appeals Team at White Ryland Solicitors in Shepherds Bush, before moving to Spain for four years with her family.

Lara joined Baron Grey in 2013 and now works for the firm dealing with a wide range of immigration and probate matters.

Minnie Waite


Minnie Waite joined Baron Grey in 2017 as a conveyancer having worked in the City for many years.

She has over 20 years’ experience in dealing with all aspects of conveyancing transactions and has studied the License Conveyancing course. Minnie specialises in freehold/leasehold, enfranchisement, has some commercial experience and advises on mortgages.

She is extremely approachable and friendly and a great addition to the Baron Grey team.

Ben Hall

Solicitor Advocate

Ben Hall is an experienced solicitor who re-joined Baron Grey solicitors in early 2018, having originally trained under Vincent in 2006.

Ben specialises in criminal defence work and regularly represents clients from the investigatory stage all the way through to the Crown Court and Court of Appeal, where he has had notable success.

Ben has expanded his practice into civil litigation with a particular emphasis on commercial and probate disputes.

Emma Faulkner


After being awarded a 2:1 degree in Law from the University of Reading, Emma joined Baron Grey in 2012. Since then, she has successfully completed the Legal Practice Course part-time obtaining a Distinction, and qualifying as a solicitor in February 2016.

Emma assists the litigation team and specialises in Family Law, including divorce and financial proceedings. Emma also deals with the niche area of Private Client Law concerning Lasting Powers of Attorney. She follows the footsteps of her grandfather who worked for Baron Grey as a senior legal assistant.

Vincent Hambleton-Grey


After graduating in Law in London, Vincent joined the firm in 1990 as a newly qualified solicitor. He specialises in litigation and company commercial work as well as employment and matrimonial matters. 

He is passionate about representing those who do not always have a fair voice in the community and his clients vary from local people to many small businesses in the area. Whenever possible, Vincent’s aim is always to meet and discuss matters with all new clients personally first. 

Born in Swansea, South Wales, he moved to London as an undergraduate and has lived in Twickenham since 1994. He is married with two daughters.