Frequently Asked Questions
When can I apply to register for a Lasting Power of Attorney?
You are able to register for a Lasting Power of Attorney if you are over 18 years of age and still have the mental capacity to be able to make decisions for yourself and that you understand what you are doing by registering your Lasting Power of Attorney. This online form is only valid for use in England or Wales.
Do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney if I already have an Enduring Power of Attorney?
If you still have an Enduring Power of Attorney that is valid then you do not need to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. You should be aware though that your Enduring Power of Attorney will only cover decisions in relation to your Property and Finance and it will not cover any decisions relating to your health and welfare.
If you currently have an Enduring Power of Attorney you may want to register for a Health & Welfare Power of Attorney as well.
When will my attorneys start making decisions for me?
Your attorneys will only start making decisions for you when you no longer have the mental capacity to do so.
If you are registering a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney, then your nominated attorney is not allowed to start making decisions until you cannot make them yourself.
If you are registering for a Property & Finances Lasting Power of Attorney then you are able to allow your nominated attorneys to act even if you still have the capacity to make your own decisions. This will not mean that they have taken over making decisions for you but it enables your nominated attorney to help you make decisions with regards to your property and finance.
How many Attorneys should I appoint?
The number of attorneys you appoint is entirely your choice depending on your circumstances.
If you only chose one attorney and this person was your partner then this is fine but you do need to bear in mind that if you owned a property or had an investment policy together then they would not be able to sell the property or cash in the investment as attorneys are not allowed to make decisions which would mean they benefit themselves personally.
If you chose your partner and one or more attorneys then your partner is able to sell any property as they will not be making the decision to sell the property or cash in the investment on their own as the other attorneys have to agree to the sale.
If someone appoints both their partner and another attorney – for example, a son or daughter – then the two attorneys together would be able to sell the house. Similarly, if only one attorney is appointed, and they don’t own part of the house, then they would also be able to sell the house.
What happens if I do not register my Lasting Power of Attorney?
By setting up and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney you can be sure that decisions about your Financial Affairs and your Health and Welfare can be taken by one of more people of your choosing should you lose mental capacity in the future to make decisions on your own.
If you do not set up a Lasting Power of Attorney before you lose mental capacity your family will need to apply for a deputy through the courts and this can be an expensive and drawn out process.
How long does it take for my Lasting Power of Attorney to be registered?
The time taken by the Office of the Public Guardian to register your Lasting Power of Attorney is usually between 8 and 10 weeks providing the forms have been correctly completed with all the required information.
Please be aware that until the Office of the Public Guardian has registered your Lasting Power of Attorney then it will not be valid and your nominated attorneys will not be able to act and make decisions for you.
Do I have to nominate a Certificate Provider?
Yes you do need to nominate a certificate provider in order for the Office of the Public Guardian to register your Lasting Power of Attorney.
Your Certificate provider is an impartial person who confirms that you understand what you are doing by registering a Lasting Power of Attorney and that no one is forcing you into making the application. They also need to confirm that no fraud is involved with the registration and that they believe there is no other reason for concern.
What do I do once my registration form has been printed?
Once the registration form has been signed you will need to send it to the Office of the Public Guardian for it to be registered along with the £82.00 registration fee to the Office of the Public Guardian.
Once your form is received by the Office of the Public Guardian they will check that the Lasting Power of Attorney has been completed and signed by the donor as well as ensuring the certificate provider has done all their checks and that all signatures needing witnessing have been witnessed.
If the Office of the Public Guardian do find any issues with the Lasting Power of Attorney then they will be in contact with you or your nominated person.
Your completed form will need to be sent to:
Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 16185