While an LPA is a legally-binding document, some UK organisations may refuse to recognise them.
A properly drafted, executed and registered LPA is essential before it can be used.
You must include proper titles and middle names. You need to word your preferences or instructions clearly and you must include vital preferences and instructions. Having unclear or missing information might not necessarily invalidate the document, but it may make it difficult for your chosen attorneys to carry out their roles in the way you want.
We provide advice about who should be appointed as attorneys and how many you should appoint. We will talk to you about whether or not it is advisable to appoint replacement attorneys and on what basis. We will tailor your LPA to suit your circumstances. And we will advise you about including guidance and instructions in your LPA to ensure that your wishes are taken into account if you are no longer able to make your instructions known.
There are strict rules relating to signing the documents; they must be signed and dated in a specific order. A “Certificate Provider” must also sign at the correct time. This can be someone you have known for a specific amount of time or a professional. This person will have the responsibility to confirm that you understand the document and its effects. Solicitors can be Certificate Providers and AWB Charlesworth offer this service as standard when assisting clients with LPAs. We have a good understanding of the role of Certificate Provider and mental capacity, and can pre-empt and prevent any safeguarding concerns, ensuring clients are given the best advice where needed.
Before the document can be used and given to the relevant organisations, they need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG will reject documents which:
- do not have the correct wording,
- are signed incorrectly,
- are not in the correct order, or
- contain mistakes or amendments not corrected under the OPG’s specific conditions.
Having to resolve these issues will extend the amount of time it takes to register (the process currently takes 20 weeks). Mistakes can be costly; a rejected application will need to be resubmitted and payment made again.
If we are instructed to write your LPA, we will ensure that the document complies with the requirements of the OPG and will rectify any problems that may occur relieving you from this administrative burden.