Power of Attorney

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.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that lets one person (the attorney) make decisions on behalf of another person (the donor). It's a flexible document that donors can tailor to their individual circumstances, setting out things like who the attorney(s) are, how they should act and any restrictions that will apply.

Typically applications are made to help someone who ‘lacks mental capacity’ - when they can’t make a decision at the time it needs to be made because of a mental impairment.

They may still be able to make other decisions or make decisions with your help.

People may lack mental capacity because, for example:

  • they’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
  • they have dementia
  • they have severe learning disabilities


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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