Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is one of the best provisions you can make to secure your future. An LPA ensures that if at any point in the future, you become incapable of making crucial decisions regarding your financial affairs or health needs, someone you trust can make them on your behalf.

This is why every detail mentioned in your LPA must be exactly right. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

On average, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) receives 67,000 LPA applications every month. Out of these applications, approximately 15% contain errors. This is not at all acceptable. 

That’s why, today we will be discussing six common errors you need to avoid when setting up your Lasting Power of Attorney.

Let’s get started!

1) Naming Family Members as Certificate Providers

When you are signing the LPA, the LPA Certificate Provider has to decide if you have the necessary mental capacity to do so. As such, Certificate Providers cannot be related to anyone named on the application. Moreover, they also have to know the donor for a minimum of two years before signing the LPA.

The Certificate Provider can be a trained professional as they can make a sound judgement on the donor’s mental capacity when signing.

2) Using the Wrong LPA Form

There are two main types of Lasting Powers of Attorney. The first is a Property and Financial LPA – it provides someone you trust with the authority to make decisions regarding your property and financial affairs. 

The second type is known as a Health and Welfare LPA – it gives someone you trust the power to make decisions regarding your health and care. 

Since there are two types of LPAs, many individuals accidentally use the wrong one. Another common mistake is using an out-of-date version of the LPA forms or mixing up the pages of both types of LPA applications.

3) Signing the Application in the Incorrect Order

An LPA has a specific order in which everyone involved needs to sign the application. Alongside this, the dating on the document also follows a particular order. For these reasons, you need to ensure everything is signed in the correct sequence. 

Furthermore, you also need to avoid signing the application page acknowledging signatures on other pages before they have been signed and using future dates.

4) Using Initials Instead of Full Names and Not Signing in the Appropriate Boxes

Many people submit applications wherein they’ve signed the sticky labels or notes that solicitors use for guidance instead of the actual signature boxes. This is not allowed.

As such, when creating an LPA, you need to ensure that you sign on the relevant documents within the appropriate boxes. Moreover, your signatures need to be witnessed and the witnesses need to write their full name and address alongside their signatures.

5) Not Being Specific Regarding Life-Sustaining Treatment

Life-sustaining treatment is a matter of great importance. It is not just a simple box to tick on the health and welfare form, it is a matter of life and death and is treated very seriously by the Parliament, the courts and doctors. 

If you want to allow your attorney to make these decisions and your instructions are unclear or contradictory, it will default to your attorney not having any power. More importantly, there are no exceptions regarding this.

As such, to avoid any trouble, ensure the correct box is ticked, and this section is signed and filled in correctly.

6) Binding Your Application

When the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) receives your application, it is scanned into their system. However, if you have bound your application, the binding will need to be removed. 

At times when removing the binding, your application may get damaged and your application will be returned. You also need to avoid using industrial staples as these can also damage the pages when removed for scanning.

If the OPG is unable to remove the binding, they will not be able to provide clear, readable copies for their scanning system. As a result, they will not process your application. This is why it’s recommended to only bind your application after it’s processed and returned. 

To Wrap Up

As you can see, there is a lot of room for error when it comes to drafting your Lasting Power of Attorney.

While it is only human to make mistakes, making mistakes when creating your LPA can have far-reaching consequences. At best, you may need to go through the entire process all over again. At worst, these mistakes may leave you unprotected if you were to be incapacitated mentally or physically.

With this guide, you now know what areas you need to pay more attention to when creating your LPA. You are also now aware of the errors you need to skirt around.

As long as you’re meticulous and give adequate attention to the smallest details, you need not have any trouble filing and registering your LPA.