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Common Errors in the Signing of Lasting Powers of Attorney - Updated

Common Errors in the Signing of Lasting Powers of Attorney – Updated

As an important legal document, a Lasting Power of Attorney needs to be legible and the Office of the Public Guardian will reject any documents that do not meet their standards. We check a large number of LPAs before they are sent to the OPG, some common errors are detailed below:

Dates

Please take the time to slowly and carefully write the date in the appropriate boxes (with one digit per box). Common errors are 5s that look like 8s, 0s looking like 6s or 9s, and 7s that look like 9s. It is also important to note that you should not overwrite the date if a mistake is made.

Additionally, a number of LPAs are being received for checking without any dates at all. Pages should be dated when they are signed and, dates should not be left blank to be added in later.

Order of Dates

The dating of a Lasting Power of Attorney is extremely important and the Office of the Public Guardian require these documents to be signed and dated in a precise order (please see our Signing Guidance). Any ambiguity in the dates will cause the Lasting Power of Attorney to be rejected.

There are a couple of common errors that we would like to highlight.

It is relatively common for the donor to sign Section 15 (page 20) the same time that they sign Section 9 (page 10). Section 15 however cannot be signed until all attorneys have signed their relevant page in Section 11. Section 15 should only be dated the same day as Section 9 if all parties are signing on the same day.

Any Continuation Sheets should be dated before or on the same day that Section 9 (page 10) was signed even though they are located later in the document.

Marks in the signature box

The only thing that should be in the signature box is the signature. If you need to mark up a Lasting Power of Attorney for signature, to assist the donor or attorneys please use “Post-It” notes or similar. Even pencil marks can cause an issue as rubbing these out can rip the document, smudge the ink, and/or leave indentations in the page.

Witnesses – Common Errors

A surprising number of Lasting Powers of Attorney are received for checking with signature pages that have not been witnessed. Please ensure that all appropriate signatures are witnessed.

Witnesses signing section 5 (page 6) of a Health and Welfare LPA should take care that they sign in the witness section. We have seen a relative amount of witnesses sign in the option B box in error.

The full name of the witness is required. If the witness’ full name is too long to fit in the box it is possible to leave out middle names. For example BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH rather than BENEDICT TIMOTHY CARLTON CUMBERBATCH. Please do not include initials (BENEDICT T C CUMBERBATCH or B T C CUMBERBATCH) as that may cause issues during registration.

The full address of a witness is required. This is not normally a problem for witnesses in the UK, but for witnesses based abroad they should take care to include the full names for the country and for any states/provinces or similar. For example, a witness living in California should write ‘California, United States of America’ and not ‘CA, USA’.

Manual amendments

We cannot guarantee that any manual written amendments will be accepted by the OPG. If there is an error on a document, please let us know so we can issue amended documents.

Amendments to section 12 (page 17) when donor is registering

Either the donor or the attorneys must register an LPA, but they cannot do this together.

Normally the document will state that the donor is registering the LPA. If this is the case, the attorneys should not include their details in this section. Their details would only need including if they were registering the LPA.

The donor’s details do not also need to be written in section 12.

Attorneys and/or witnesses signing section 15 (page 20) with donor

Only the people listed in section 12 need to sign section 15. If this is the donor, the attorneys do not need to sign this page.

Signatures on this page do not need to be witnessed.

Conclusion

If you have a Lasting Power of Attorney page that contains a signing error, please contact us. We can send you a replacement page straight away to avoid issues.

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