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. Some common errors are detailed below:
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. 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, while leaving dates blank to be added later may seem like a good idea, it is then too easy to overlook them causing the Lasting Power of Attorney to be rejected.
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, 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.
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. Additionally, 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) as that may cause issues during registration.
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.