Have you ever applied for a new passport and asked the post office to make sure that you have filled the forms in correctly? We offer this service for Lasting Power of Attorney.
We offer a checking service for Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) which have been prepared by members of the public themselves.
We check that:
The LPA forms have been signed in the right order
That the right people have signed in the right place
That there are no unsuitable terms included
That there is nothing in the forms that would mean that they are rejected by the Office of the Public Guardian.
How Much Does the LPA Checking Service Cost?
We charge a flat fee of £25 per form for checking that the LPA is ready for submission to the Office of the Public Guardian. If there is a problem or an error, we will advise what is wrong and what needs to be done to resolve it which, of course, would save you a second £82 application fee.
Alternatively, if you then ask us to re-do the LPA application for you, we will discount the £25 fee against our normal preparation fee.
What is the process?
We do not need to see the original forms. All you need to do is post a copy of the forms or scan and email them to us.
You can find the forms that you need here:
When sending the forms please include a cheque, payable to “Alvechurch Legal”. Your cheque amount should be equal to £25 per LPA application that needs to be checked (i.e. couple with both property and finance and health and welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney would pay £100). If would like to pay by bank transfer, just let us know and we can send you our bank details.
The address to send the forms to is:
1 Hagley Court South
or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will then thoroughly check them to make sure that everything is in order. We will complete our first check within 7 days of receiving the completed forms.
If the forms are completed correctly, we will let you know and you can send them off to the Office of the Public Guardian with the peace of mind that everything will go smoothly.
If something on the form needs to be amended, we will let you know. You are then free to resend the forms to us to be checked again. This process can be completed as many times as is necessary until everything is perfect.
Why Should I Get My Lasting Power of Attorney Checked?
If your circumstances are straightforward and you know who you want to appoint as your attorney(s) then most people are capable of completing the Lasting Power of Attorney forms independently.
However, there are strict requirements for the signing and witnessing of LPAs and the case discussed below highlights the need for extreme care.
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) list the most noted problems with applications sent in as:
applicants not signing the forms in the correct order;
missing signatures or dates;
missing pages; and
mixing pages up.
Mistakes can also be made in dates of birth being incorrect or missing, names being spelt incorrectly, addresses being spelt incorrectly, post codes being wrong, and the witness not being an appropriate person. This is quite apart from more subtle problems, such as those where the LPA is valid but unfortunately does not cover everything that is required.
The OPG pick up these points and contact the individuals concerned to clarify or correct the mistake. It may lead to needing to sign new LPAs – if the Donor is still capable of doing so. Unfortunately, where there has been a mistake on the form, it can cause a problem with financial institutions once the LPAs are registered and are being used.
A recent case shows the danger of executing LPAs incorrectly. Mrs B executed both types of LPA. Both of them were registered by the Office of the Public Guardian in 2016. Sometime later, one of the financial institutions noticed that Mrs B’s signature had been witnessed by one of the Attorneys. An Attorney cannot act as a witness to the Donor making the LPA (because of a conflict of interest risk), so the LPAs were invalid and cancelled. By this time, Mrs B lacked capacity which meant that new LPAs could not be made. The only option was to apply to the Court for a Deputyship Order.
This simple mistake caused a great deal of extra work and expense for the family.