The Office of Public Guardian (OPG) receives an average of 67,000 Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) applications monthly. Out of those applications, approximately 15% contain errors.
Unfortunately, when there are mistakes on your LPA, your application will be returned to you, making the process take longer. It takes the OPG approximately 8 months to register an LPA.
Today, we will discuss the nine most common errors people make when creating a lasting power of attorney.
#1. Missing Pages or Mixing Up Pages
There are two types of LPAs. The first is called a Property & Financial LPA. A Property & Financial LPA deals with giving someone authority to make decisions about your property and financial affairs.
The second is known as a Health & Welfare LPA. This LPA gives someone the authority to make decisions regarding your personal health and welfare.
If you are applying for both types of LPAs, pages can get mixed up unintentionally. As a result, the OPG cannot complete either application and must return them to you when this happens.
#2. Signing the Application in the Incorrect Order
The document has a specific order in which those involved must sign the application. In addition, the dating on the document must also follow a particular order. Therefore, it’s crucial to sign everything in order, avoid signing the application page acknowledging signatures on all other pages before they have been signed, and do not use future dates.
#3. Not Having the Correct Signatures
For a document to be legally binding, it must be signed and witnessed. All LPA documents have additional steps to be completed, such as having a Certificate Provider and registering the document before it is considered valid. If any of these signatures or details are missing, the document will be deemed invalid, and the OPG will reject it.
#3. Naming a Family Member as Certificate Providers
The Certificate Provider has to decide that the person signing the LPA has the necessary mental capacity to do so. They cannot be related to anyone named on the application and must have known the Donor for at least two years before signing the LPA. The Certificate Provider can also be a trained professional who can make an accurate judgment on the Donor’s mental capacity at the time of the signing.
#4. Signing in the Wrong Boxes
Your applications must be signed in the appropriate boxes, and someone must witness the signatures. The witness must then write their full name and address and sign the document.
#5. Using a Pencil, Tipp-Ex, or Submitting Photocopies
If you use a pencil or Tipp-Ex, the Office of the Public Guardian cannot tell if the document has been amended, and if so, who did it. Therefore they will not register any applications using a pencil or Tipp-Ex.
They also do not accept photocopies of applications. Only original documents will be accepted.
#6. Binding Your Application
When received by the Office of the Public Guardian, all applications get scanned into their system. If you have bound your application, the binding will need to be removed. If they remove the binding, your application can be damaged, and if they cannot remove the binding, they will not process your application.
#7. Not Being Specific Regarding Life-Sustaining Treatment
The use of life-sustaining treatments is a matter of life and death. Therefore, you must be clear on your decision on the use of life-sustaining treatments. If the instructions aren’t clear or contradictory, the OPG will not process your application.
#8. Contradictory Instructions
Another thing that can make your LPA invalid is having instructions contradicting each other. This frequently happens in appointment types when someone appoints joint and several attorneys and then later instructs them all to make decisions.
#9. Making Unlawful Requests
If the Office of the Public Guardian considers something on the application unlawful, they must go to the Court of Protection for guidance. Although this doesn’t necessarily invalidate your LPA, it can slow the process down.
The Office of the Public Guardian may refuse to register your Lasting Power of Attorney if it contains any of the following things:
- Instructions on assisted suicide or criminal activity
- Property & Financial LPA related to Health & Welfare matters and vice versa
- Requests to follow the decision of someone who is not an attorney
Avoid Mistakes! Turn To The Experts at Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors
To avoid mistakes in getting your LPA set up, turn to Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors. We know that everyone’s circumstances are different, and we will work with you to make sure that your wishes are communicated properly. Creating an LPA is part of a comprehensive plan for your future, and we will make the process as simple as possible.
We provide consultations in our private office in Winnersh Triangle or from the comfort of your own home.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation.