Guidance: Making and registering an LPA during the coronavirus outbreak

Office Of The Public Guardian

September 20
10:40 2021

The government has published the COVID-19 Response - Autumn and Winter Plan 2021 setting out plans for autumn and winter 2021/22 in England. See specific guidance for Wales.

On 16 August the government changed the rules on self-isolation.If youre fully vaccinated or under 18 and 6 months youre not required to self-isolate if youve had close contact with someone with COVID-19.Find out whether you need to self-isolate and how you can protect others if:

If you get any COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test. Find out more about what to do if you have COVID-19.Making a lasting power of attorney (LPA) is an important decision that you should think about carefully.

We are experiencing delays registering lasting powers of attorney. Please allow up to 20 weeks from receipt of your LPA for your application to be processed. This includes a 4 week waiting period required by law.

Please continue to check our coronavirus response page for updates. We will also update this page if government information changes.

There are?other ways people can make decisions for you?that are quicker to get in place. These may be useful while youre waiting for an LPA to be registered or if youre self-isolating and need someone to carry out bank transactions for you.

How do I make an LPA during the COVID-19 pandemic?

This information will help you make one, but you should also use the standard guidance?on making an LPA. This guidance is for people making an LPA in England and Wales only.

There is separate guidance for people making an LPA in?Scotland?and?Northern Ireland.

Signing and witnessing the LPA

It is important to consider the risks of catching or spreading COVID-19, but there are easy and effective actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us.

You must ensure that you satisfy requirements when making an LPA. Do not:

  • use digital signatures - the document must be printed out and signed by hand with a black pen
  • send people photocopies or scans of the LPA to sign - everyone must sign the same, original document
  • ask people to send you a scan or photocopy of the page theyve signed - we cannot register an LPA that includes scans or copied pages

Witnessing the donor and attorneys signatures

Witnessing must be done in person.

If the donor is not able to use a pen and cannot sign the LPA, someone else can sign on their behalf. The donor and 2 other people must be there in person to witness the signature being made. The 2 witnesses must also sign the LPA.

The certificate provider and donor conversation

The certificate provider must talk to the donor about the LPA to make sure the donor understands it and is not being pressured to make it.

We recommend this conversation happens face to face, but you should consider government guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus. If the conversation has to be over the phone or a video call, the certificate provider should make sure the call is private.

How you can help us register your LPA as quickly as possible

  • Use our online service to make the LPA and pay the application fee by card rather than cheque. Although youll still need to print the completed forms to sign and then post to us, it will take us less time to register your LPA. This is because cheques take much longer to process than card payments. If you make the LPA online, youll also be able to track the progress of your application through the service without needing to contact us.
  • If the donor and attorney have email addresses, include them on the LPA form. This will make it much quicker for us to contact them if there are any issues.
  • Double check your forms before sending them in. Avoid common mistakes, by making sure:

When you post your LPA to us and when youre waiting for the registered LPA to be posted back, please make allowances for the postal service. You can see service updates on the Royal Mail website.

Published 17 April 2020
Last updated 20 September 2021 +show all updates
  1. Updates to English page to reflect guideline changes on 14 September, and to Welsh page to link to new English plan.

  2. Changes made due to 16 August announcement

  3. Updating Welsh information to reflect guidance changes in Wales on 7 August

  4. Edited due to lifting of restrictions on 19 July

  5. Change registration time from 15 weeks to 20 weeks

  6. Amended to reflect guidance change on 21 June

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