How do you prove you have Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document giving someone the authority to manage another’s affairs, should the individual lose the ability to do this themselves. We look at how to prove you have Power of Attorney and the steps involved in using it.

Once an LPA has been made and registered, it can be kept in case it is ever needed. If the time comes when you need to start using it, you will need to show that you are entitled to do so.

At Lockings Solicitors, we have many years of experience in handling LPAs. Whether you are making an LPA for yourself or you have been appointed as an attorney, we can give you the advice and guidance you need.

We have particular expertise in helping older and vulnerable clients and their families. We know that taking over someone’s affairs when they lose mental capacity can be difficult, both emotionally and on a practical level, and we can give you support as well as information and assistance.

Our Associate Director and Head of Private Client, Joanne Liversidge, is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, a national group of legal experts who specialise in representing older clients. She is also a Dementia Friend, with a strong understanding of the effects of the disease on individuals and their relatives. Joanne and her expert team have helped attorneys deal with difficult matters for many years.

We offer a FREE initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have about using a Power of Attorney. Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and represent clients across the East Yorkshire and York area.

Using a Power of Attorney

The person who makes an LPA, known as the donor, can make two different types:

Property and financial affairs LPA

The LPA donor can choose what authority to give to their attorney. Under a property and financial affairs LPA, this could be the power to:

  • Access the donor’s bank account
  • Pay bills
  • Receive benefits
  • Make investments
  • Insure and maintain the donor’s home
  • Sell the donor’s property

The donor has the option to allow their attorney to use their power at any time, including while the donor still has mental capacity.

Health and welfare LPA

Under a health and welfare LPA, an attorney will often have the authority to:

  • Decide what care the donor will receive
  • Decide where the donor will live
  • Choose what the donor’s daily routine will look like
  • Decide who the donor will see
  • Authorise medical treatment for the donor
  • Refuse certain medical treatments

Unlike a property and financial affairs LPA, a health and welfare LPA can only be used if the donor loses the ability to make their own decisions.

Registering a Lasting Power of Attorney

An LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used. It is generally best to send the registration as soon as the LPA has been signed, as the OPG will take several months to process it. In addition, they may have enquiries to be answered.

Once registered, the document will have an official stamp as well as the date of registration.

Online activation of an LPA

LPAs made in recent years can be registered for use with the government’s ‘Use a Lasting Power of Attorney’ service.

After completing the registration, the OPG will send an activation code to both the donor and their attorney or attorneys. They can create an online LPA account using this code along with the LPA reference number.

The LPA is added to the account and the attorneys can generate an access code to be given to any authorities who need to see the LPA.

The system is currently only available for LPAs made in the past few years.

Using an LPA

If you are an attorney and the time has come to take over the donor’s affairs, you will need to prove you have Power of Attorney to all of the authorities and other bodies that you will be dealing with. This could include banks, building societies, investment companies, care providers and medical professionals.

If the donor’s LPA was not made recently and there is no option to use the online system, you will need to obtain certified paper copies of the LPA to be sent to the organisations you will be dealing with on the donor’s behalf. We can provide you with certified copies that you can use.

Many organisations will also have their own forms that you will need to fill in as an attorney. You are also likely to need to verify your identity with each one.

Proving validity of an LPA

When an LPA is made, a certificate provider will sign the document, confirming that the donor understands the implications of the document. This could be someone who has known the donor personally for two years but who is not a relative or someone with relevant professional training, such as a doctor, solicitor or social worker.

If questions are asked in the future about the donor’s understanding of the LPA, this individual will be able to confirm their mental capacity.

Find out if someone has an LPA

If you need to know whether someone has an LPA, you can ask the OPG. You will need to fill in form OPG100 and sent it to the OPG. They will check their records to see whether there is:

  • A Lasting Power of Attorney
  • An Enduring Power of Attorney (the type of form that preceded LPAs and which remains valid)
  • A deputyship order (made by the court when someone has lost capacity but does not have an LPA)

The OPG can also tell you whether there are any restrictions imposed by the document and how attorneys or deputies are appointed to act, for example, whether they can act individually or whether they must make all decisions jointly. You can also find out whether an LPA or other authority has been cancelled.

Contact our East Yorkshire and York area Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors

If you have been appointed as an attorney and you need advice on using an LPA, contact us today. Our expert team can give you the guidance and support you need and ensure that you can give your relative the help and representation they need.

We offer a FREE initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have at this stage. Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and represent clients across the East Yorkshire and York area.

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