A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions (you ‘lack capacity’).
'Capacity' means the ability to make a decision. A person with capacity has some understanding of the decision they need to make. They also need to know why they need to make it and the likely consequences. Sometimes people can make some kinds of decisions but don't have capacity to make others.
An LPA helps you control decisions that affect you, even when you cannot make them yourself. It allows you to plan and choose:
- what decisions you want to be made on your behalf
- who will make those decisions
- how you want them to make those decisions
You can only make an LPA for Jersey – other countries may not recognise it. We can register some non-Jersey LPAs giving them legal effect in Jersey. Contact the Judicial Greffe for further information.
Who can have a lasting power of attorney
You can make an LPA if:
- you’re at least 18 years old
- you have capacity to do so ('Capacity' is defined above)
Types of lasting power of attorney
There are two types of LPA:
Property and affairs
This type of LPA covers your money and property. You don't have to own your own home or have a lot of money to make this type of LPA. This LPA works in one of two ways:
- your attorney can use the LPA on your behalf immediately, with your consent, as soon as it's registered. For example if you’d like help with managing your bank accounts or with paying bills
- you can instruct that the attorney can only use the LPA when you don't have capacity to make that decision
Health and welfare
This type of LPA covers your personal and health care. Your attorney can only use the LPA on your behalf when you lack capacity to make the decision yourself.
The LPA should include the types of decisions you want the attorney to make. This might be all decisions; single decisions such as moving into a care home or getting help from social services; or it could be for a few specific decisions of your choosing.
You can give your attorneys the power to refuse or agree to any medical treatment you may need to stay alive. This will only take effect if you are unable to make that decision at the time it needs to be made. If you do not give your attorney that power, doctors would decide on the treatment that is in your best interests.
There’s another document, called an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT), which can also affect your treatment. Information about ADRTs is available on gov.je or through your GP.
Some people make one type of LPA, while others make both. If you wish to make an LPA for each type you’ll need to fill in this form separately for each type.
Attorneys are people you trust which you appoint under your LPA. They make decisions on your behalf when you don't have capacity to make a decision yourself. You must have at least one attorney. There's no upper limit. However, too many attorneys could make things difficult, as they'll need to work together. You should also think about replacement attorneys. These are people who step in if one of your original attorneys can no longer act for you.
If your legal partner (husband, wife or civil partner) is your attorney and you would like them to continue even if your marriage or civil partnership ends, you must say this in your LPA.
How attorneys make decisions
If you have more than one attorney, you must decide how you want them to make decisions - individually or all together. The legal terms are 'severally' and 'jointly'.
Your options are:
Individually for different decisions
Jointly and severally
Your attorneys can make decisions on your behalf on their own or together. Any action taken by any attorney alone is as valid as if they were the only attorney. It's up to your attorneys to choose how they make decisions but they must always act in your best interests.
Most people choose this option because:
- attorneys can make simple or urgent decisions quickly and easily
- if an attorney can no longer act, the LPA will still work. One attorney can still make decisions for you without asking your other attorneys
If you choose this option, you must not say anywhere else in the LPA that certain decisions must be made by:
- one particular attorney
- some or all your attorneys
- a certain number of attorneys
You can say how you’d like your attorneys to make a particular decision in the preferences section of your LPA. They don’t have to follow your preferences but will take them into account.
Your attorneys must always make all decisions together. They must all agree and they must all sign any relevant documents. Choose this option if you want your attorneys to agree on every decision, regardless of how large or small it is.
With this option:
- if your attorneys can’t all agree on a decision, they can't make it
- if your attorneys can’t work together, your LPA won’t work
- if one attorney can no longer act or dies, your LPA will stop working. If you haven't appointed replacements, this might be a problem
Jointly for some decisions, and jointly and severally for other decisions
Your attorneys must make certain decisions together and all agree them. But they can make other decisions by themselves. For this option, you must state which decisions your attorneys should make together. Sometimes people don’t mind their attorneys taking small decisions alone – for example, paying the bills. But they want them to make important decisions together, such as selling a house.
With this option:
- if your attorneys can’t agree on a joint decision, they can't make it
- if one attorney can no longer act or dies, your remaining attorneys won't be able to make any of the joint decisions (this isn't the case if you’ve appointed replacements)
If one attorney can no longer act and you’ve appointed replacements:
- the replacement attorneys take over making all joint decisions from your original attorneys
- the original attorneys can still make any decisions they’re allowed to make on their own
- the replacement can also make any decisions they’re allowed to make on their own
This range of options allows you to make an LPA that is right for you. If there are any decisions you want a sole attorney to make, you can note these when you add the attorney.
Your attorneys must always act in your best interests. They must make every effort to find out whether you can make a decision before they make it for you. If you are not sure which option is best for your circumstances, you can get legal advice.
Making a lasting power of attorney
You can make an LPA by completing our online form below. Once the form is completed you’ll need to print and sign it (along with your attorneys and witness) before registering it at the Judicial Greffe.
To complete this form you’ll need to provide the following information about your attorneys and witness:
- date of birth
- email address
- social security number (if known)
Payment for your LPA can be made as part of this form or you can pay in person at the Judicial Greffe.
The current fee for applying to register an LPA is £25. This fee is reduced to £10 if you receive:
- income support
- long-term incapacity allowance
- long-term care
You’ll need to bring evidence of your benefits with you to the Judicial Greffe when you register your LPA.
Make a lasting power of attorney
People to notify about your lasting power of attorney
You can choose 'people to notify', that the Judicial Greffe will inform when you apply to register your LPA.
Why notify people?
Letting people know about your LPA before you register it provides extra security. It gives people who know you well a chance to raise concerns. You don't have to choose any people to notify to make your LPA valid – it's an optional extra precaution.
Choose people to notify
You can choose up to 5 people to notify but they can't be your attorneys or replacement attorneys. Many donors choose family members or close friends.
Talk to the people before you name them and explain that:
- they don't have to do anything right away
- we will only notify them when you apply to register your LPA
- they do not have to do anything when we contact them, unless they have concerns
How we notify people
We will send them a letter telling them how to object, if they want to. If the people to notify have no concerns, they don't have to do anything. If a person to notify wants to raise concerns about your LPA, they have to contact the Judicial Greffe. They have two weeks to do this.
There are rules about the sorts of concerns people can raise. They can't object to your LPA just because they don't like it. People can only object to you registering an LPA on 'prescribed grounds'.
A person to notify can object to an LPA's registration if:
- you or an attorney is bankrupt (this only applies to property and financial affairs LPAs)
- you or an attorney has died
- your marriage or civil partnership with an attorney has been legally ended
- an attorney doesn't have the capacity to be an attorney
- they believe you don't have the capacity to make an LPA
- they believe there was fraud or undue pressure on you to make the LPA
Making changes to an existing lasting power of attorney
A donor who still has capacity and who wishes to make changes to their existing LPA should contact members of the Protection Team at the Judicial Greffe who will advise them of the process.
Help deciding if you should make a lasting power of attorney
It's important to know how your LPA will work and to talk to the people you want to involve.
Making and registering an LPA – a guide
Questions to ask yourself
We recommend that before you make an LPA that you consider the following questions:
- who will be your attorneys? These are the people who act on your behalf under the LPA
- how many attorneys do you need?
- should you have replacement attorneys? These are people who step in if original attorneys can no longer act, so they're a way to protect your LPA
- how should your attorneys make decisions on your behalf? Should they act together or on their own, or a mixture of the two?
- do you want to give your attorneys any instructions about how to make decisions?
- do you want to help your attorneys make decisions, by telling them about your beliefs and values?
- who's the witness who will sign your LPA? This person will confirm that you understand your LPA and that no one is forcing you to make it. They are a safeguard who can raise concerns when you make your LPA
- are there any people to notify about your LPA when you are about to register it? These people are an optional safeguard who can raise concerns about your LPA before you can use it
It's ok to get help when making an LPA. Many people talk to family, friends or a legal adviser. But you, the donor, alone must make the decisions about your LPA.
Protecting your interests
Your attorneys must always act in your best interests. They must follow any instructions that you have included in your LPA about making decisions.
Your attorneys can’t use your LPA until you have registered it with the Judicial Greffe.
The Court Services Department works to protect people who don't have capacity. If someone raises concerns about an attorneys' behaviour, the Viscount will investigate.