A Certificate Provider is an independent person who signs a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to certify that at the time of signing, they are aware that the donor understands the purpose and scope of authority given by the LPA, that no fraud or undue pressure is used to influence the donor into making the LPA and that there is nothing else which could prevent the LPA from being created.
Certificate Providers must either be a person who the donor has known for at least two years as more than an acquaintance (for example a friend or colleague), or a person with relevant professional skills (such as a medical professional, social worker or legal professional).
The Office of the Public Guardian’s official guidance provides a number of persons who cannot act as Certificate Provider:
- an attorney or replacement attorney in the current LPA or another other LPA or EPA made by the donor (including any person associated with a trust corporation or solicitors appointed as attorney)
- a member of the donor or any attorney’s family (including spouse/civil partners, in-laws and step-relatives)
- an unmarried partner of the donor or any attorney
- 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
In most situations, the instruction taker will usually act as certificate provider, unless any of the above apply to them. For some donors however, it may be appropriate to seek the opinion of a medical professional (for example where a client 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 contact a member of the team for advice.