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How to plan future decisions about your health and finance

You can appoint someone to act on your behalf if you lose capacity in the future, and it can give that person the right to make decisions regarding your:

  • property and finances
  • health and welfare.

This is known as a lasting power of attorney. 

Lasting power of attorney

Lasting power of attorney allows you to elect someone to make decisions on your behalf. This is for use if a person still has the capacity to make decisions, but feels they may lose this (perhaps because of dementia).

Regardless of health, everyone should consider a Lasting Power of Attorney. It's never too early to set up a Power of Attorney, you don't need to be unwell.

You can use the Government's online service to create a new lasting power of attorney.

If you need help, the Office of the Public Guardian can help you to fill out forms.

Enduring power of attorney

'Lasting power of attorney' (LPA) replaced 'Enduring powers of attorney' (EPA) from 1 October 2007.

EPAs signed and witnessed before October 2007 can still be used. However, if you lose mental capacity, your attorney must register the EPA in order to start or continue to use it.

Advance Decisions

An Advance Decision allows you to write down any treatments that you don't want to have in the future, in case you later become unable to make or communicate decisions for yourself.

We would always recommend that you seek a professional's input or opinion - for example a GP, social worker or solicitor - if it's a significant decision about health, welfare, property or finances.


Making a will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death.