Most Common Errors made with LPAs
26 May 2021 by Jane Golding
The OPG on average receives 67,000 applications for lasting powers of attorney (LPA) each month, which is about 3,100 every single day. It is estimated by the OPG that most LPA applications received are completed correctly but they find that around 15% of the applications received have been made incorrectly or have mistake(s) in them. Mistakes often mean delays and in some cases can mean additional fees payable to have things corrected.
What are the top errors?
- Missing and/or mixing of pages: Sometimes unintentionally pages can get mixed up especially if you are taking out a Financial LPA and Health and Care LPA alongside a partner. In these cases, there are a number of pages involved.
- Signing the Application in the wrong order: Many LPA applications received are signed in the wrong order. If continuation sheets are involved these also need to be signed and dated at the same time and not future dates.
- Family Members as Certificate Providers: A Certificate Provider cannot be the son or daughter of anyone involved, even if the name is different. The OPG can conduct checks to determine a possible relative. Those signing as Certificate Provider must have a separate relationship from the Donor, attorneys, and replacement attorneys.
- Using initials instead of full names and not signing in the appropriate boxes: Many applications received are not signed correctly or in the appropriate box. Signature(s) must be witnessed and the Witness(es) must write their full name and address as well as signing.
- Pencil, Tippex, and Photocopies: If you use pencil or Tippex the OPG is unable to see whether an LPA has been amended or who did it. LPA applications with a pencil or Tippex will not be registered. Photocopies (unless certified) will not be accepted.
- Bound Applications: When the OPG receives the applications these will normally be scanned individually for their records. If the LPA is bound the binding will need to be removed, if the OPG cannot remove the binding they will not process the application, and/or it can damage the application.
- Being unclear in life-sustaining treatment: This is not just a “tick box” on the Health and Care form. You need to specify what decisions your attorney can make. If this is not clear or has contradictory instructions the application will not be processed.
- Contradictions in instructions and appointment types: The OPG has indicated that a number of applications received contain some unlawful instructions. There are many legal cases of what is unlawful instruction and the OPG would advise that you seek legal advice on any instructions you want to include in your LPA. If the OPG sees unlawful instructions they have a statutory duty to seek guidance from the Court of Protection. Another error is the appointment types, appointing joint and several attorneys then instructing them all to make decisions
If Fisher Jones and Greenwood Solicitors can assist in the preparation of Applications for Lasting Power of Attorney then please contact us on 01206 700113 or email [email protected] to arrange an appointment.