A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) ceases when the donor of the power dies. It may also cease if an attorney dies. Even if the LPA doesn’t end on the death of an attorney there may be a change to how the power works, for example a replacement stepping in. In all cases the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) need to be informed of a death.
Death of a donor
Where the donor of a registered LPA has died, the OPG need to be informed. The registered LPA will need to be returned to the OPG for cancellation along with evidence of the death. The OPG will then inform the attorneys of the cancellation.
Death of an attorney
The OPG needs to be informed where an attorney has died, however depending on the appointment the LPA may still be valid.
Where a sole attorney dies, or an attorney acting jointly dies, the LPA will need to be returned to the OPG with proof of the death for cancellation unless the LPA names replacement attorneys. If there are replacement attorneys, the LPA does not need to be returned to the OPG as it will still be valid.
Where attorney acting jointly and severally dies, the OPG should be informed of the death but the LPA does not need to be returned to the OPG as it will still be valid.
Death of a replacement attorney
The OPG do not need to be informed of a replacement attorney’s death if the original attorneys are continuing to act. Proof of death is only required if the replacement attorney has started to act.
What proof of death do the OPG require?
When being informed of a death, any correspondence must provide the OPG’s case reference number and the full name, date of birth and last address of the deceased. They will accept any of the following as proof of death:
- A completed solicitors’ death verification form
- A copy of a letter from someone who is able to confirm the date of death. The OPG provide the following as examples but this is not exhaustive and other forms of confirmation may be accepted at the OPG’s discretion.
- A solicitor, barrister or advocate authorised to practice in the country where the declaration is made
- A legal Executive who is a member of the Institute of Legal Executives
- A Will writer who is a member of either: the Society of Will Writers, the Institute of Professional Willwriters or the European Association of Will Writers
- A doctor or surgeon registered in the country where the declaration is made
- A notary public or any person allowed to administer oaths in the country where the declaration is made
- A Magistrate
- A Chartered accountant
- A funeral director
- An officer of a bank (a letter on headed paper is acceptable)
- An officer of the Department of Work and Pensions responsible for administering benefits
- A social worker registered to practice in the country where the declaration is made
- A local government officer responsible for administering benefits or council tax
- A care home manager or owner
- A consular or embassy official, if the person died abroad
- A Local Authority Holder of the Office of Deputyship Officer
- A certificate issued by the Registrar General, a Superintendent Registrar or a Registrar of Births and Deaths
- The equivalent of a certificate issued abroad by the appropriate registration authority if the person died abroad