A Power of Attorney (POA) is a crucial legal document that grants an individual the authority to act on behalf of another person in various matters, typically related to finance, property, or health. Understanding the validity period of a Power of Attorney is essential to ensure that it serves its intended purpose effectively. This blog will provide a comprehensive overview of the duration for which a Power of Attorney remains valid in the United Kingdom.

How Long is a Power of Attorney Valid For?

Types of Power of Attorney

Before diving into the specifics of validity, it is important to understand the different types of Power of Attorney available in the UK:

  1. Ordinary Power of Attorney: This type of POA can be used for temporary arrangements (Limited), such as during a period of illness or travel. It can also be used while you have capacity (General).  It grants the Attorney authority to act on financial and property matters only
  2. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA): This is a more long lasting form of POA, designed to remain effective even if the donor (the person granting the POA) loses mental capacity. There are two types of LPA:
    • Property and Financial Affairs LPA: Covers decisions related to finances and property.
    • Health and Welfare LPA: Covers decisions related to health and personal welfare.
  3. Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA): This form of POA was replaced by LPAs in October 2007 but remains valid if created before that date. EPAs primarily cover financial and property matters and remain valid even after the donor loses mental capacity.

Validity of Ordinary Power of Attorney

An Ordinary Power of Attorney is generally valid as long as the donor retains mental capacity. It is commonly used for specific, short-term purposes and can be set with a defined expiry date. If no expiry date is specified, the POA will automatically terminate if the donor becomes mentally incapacitated.

Validity of Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is designed to remain valid even if the donor loses mental capacity. For an LPA to be valid, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Once registered, the LPA remains effective indefinitely unless:

  1. The donor revokes it while still mentally capable.
  2. The donor specifies a termination date within the document.
  3. The attorney(s) decide to resign, and there are no replacement attorneys named.
  4. The LPA is cancelled by the Court of Protection.

Validity of Enduring Power of Attorney

For those who created an Enduring Power of Attorney before 1 October 2007, it remains valid. EPAs must be registered with the OPG if the donor begins to lose or has lost mental capacity. Similar to LPAs, EPAs can be revoked by the donor, if mentally capable, or cancelled by the Court of Protection.

Factors Affecting Validity

Several factors can affect the validity of any Power of Attorney:

  • Revocation: The donor can revoke a POA at any time, provided they are mentally capable.
  • Expiry Date: An OPA may have a specific expiry date after which it becomes invalid.
  • Death: Any POA automatically terminates upon the death of the donor.
  • Court Orders: The Court of Protection can cancel a POA if it is not in the best interest of the donor.


Understanding the validity of a Power of Attorney is crucial for both donors and attorneys to ensure that legal authority is exercised appropriately and within the intended timeframe. While Ordinary Powers of Attorney are typically short-term and expire if the donor loses mental capacity, Lasting Powers of Attorney are designed to provide continuous support even in cases of mental incapacity. Enduring Powers of Attorney, though now replaced by LPAs, still hold validity if created before October 2007.

For more detailed guidance on creating or managing a Power of Attorney, it is advisable to consult The Will Centre or visit the Office of the Public Guardian’s website.

At The Will Centre, we are dedicated to providing you with the information and support you need to navigate the complexities of Powers of Attorney. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in planning for your future.