What is a certificate provider?
A certificate provider is an independent person who will sign a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to confirm that that no fraud or undue pressure is used to influence the donor into making the LPA, the donor understands the purpose and scope of authority given by the LPA and that there is nothing else which would prevent the LPA from being created.
Who can be a certificate provider?
The certificate provider must be either:
- a person who the donor has known personally for at least two years as more than an acquaintance, for example a friend or colleague; or
- a person with relevant professional skills and expertise to act to fulfil the role of a certificate provider, for example a medical professional, social worker or legal professional.
A certificate provider must also be over 18 and have capacity themselves.
Who cannot be a certificate provider?
The following cannot act as a certificate provider for a donor:
- Any attorney or replacement attorney appointed under the current LPA or under any other LPA or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) executed by the donor (regardless on whether or not that other power has been revoked).
- A member of the donor’s family or a family member of any attorney appointed under that LPA. This includes spouses/civil partners, in-laws and step-relatives.
- an unmarried partner of the donor or any attorney.
- A director or employee of a trust corporation that is an attorney under the LPA.
- an employee or business partner of the donor or any attorney.
- any person who is the director, owner, manager or employee of a care home where the donor lives, or any family member of a person associated with the care home.
If the certificate provider is any of the above, the LPA will not be valid.
The category of ‘family members’ has not been fully defined. It was decided in Re Kittle in 2009 that a cousin was not a family member. Since that ruling however, the OPG’s guidance advises against any person with a family connection acting as the certificate provider.
Who should act as certificate provider?
In most situations, the instruction taker will usually act as certificate provider, unless they fall into any of the categories above.
For some donors however, it may be appropriate to seek the opinion of a medical professional (for example where a donor has early stages of Alzheimer’s disease), however some medical professionals may charge to act as Certificate Provider.
If you are unsure whether you or any other person can act as the Certificate Provider, feel free to email [email protected] for advice.