Once a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) has been signed correctly, it must then be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to be registered before it can be used.
The LPA does not need to be registered immediately after it is signed, for example the donor may wish to wait until they have lost capacity before it is registered. We do recommend that it is registered immediately whilst the donor still has capacity, as if there are any errors these can be corrected. If the registration is left until the donor has lost capacity, if errors are found this may mean that it is impossible to fix the errors and the LPA cannot be registered.
This week’s article will give an overview of the procedure when an LPA is being sent to the OPG to assist should you receive queries from clients on the process or how long it will be until they receive their registered documents.
Step 1: Notifying People
If the LPA includes any people to be notified of the registration, these people must be sent an LP3 form before the LPAs are sent to the OPG.
Step 2: LPAs sent to the OPG
The LPAs will then be sent to the OPG.
Step 3: Payment
The OPG will take payment for the registration either by a cheque sent with the LPA or by calling to take a card payment. Any remission/exemption application will be applied if applicable.
If there are any concerns with payment, for example if the OPG cannot contact anyone by phone, the OPG will send letters to the donor and the sometimes the correspondent named in section 13 of the LPA. If payment cannot be taken the LPAs will be returned to the correspondent.
Step 4: Issues
The OPG will then look over the LPAs to ensure that they are legally valid and there are no issues.
If there are issues with the LPAs, the OPG will contact the parties informing them of the error. Depending on the issue, the OPG may give an opportunity for pages to be re-signed and returned to them with no additional costs within a certain timeframe. Alternatively, the LPA may need to be returned to the correspondent and a new fee paid once the issue has been fixed.
Step 5: Confirmation of Receipt
Assuming there was no issue with payment or the LPAs, the OPG will send a confirmation of receipt letter. This will be sent roughly four weeks after LPAs were sent to the OPG. This will contain an estimated registration date, which will be no more than twelve weeks from the date of the confirmation of receipt (and is often much earlier).
Step 6: Cooling off Period
There is then a four-week cooling off period from the date of the confirmation of receipt letter in which objections to the registration can be raised. During this time, the OPG will send notices of the registration to the donor and the attorneys. For more information on objections, please see last week’s article.
Step 7: Sent to the Court of Protection
The LPAs are sent to the Court of Protection for approval. Issues with the LPA may also be raised here and depending on the issue there may be the chance for pages to be re-signed.
Step 8: LPA Registered
The LPA is registered around the estimated registration date. The OPG will notify the donor and each attorney that the registration has been successful.
Step 9: LPA Returned
Within two weeks of the estimated registration date, the LPAs will be returned to the correspondent.