COVID-19: Lasting powers of attorney

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COVID-19: Lasting powers of attorney

June 10th, 2020, Legal Updates, News
Can an attorney appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney delegate decisions?
  •  Regardless of the circumstances, attorneys are generally unable to delegate their authority under a Lasting Power of Attorney.
  • If more than one attorney has been appointed, and the appointment is joint and several, the co-attorney might be able to act alone.
Is it possible to get a Lasting Power of Attorney registered immediately?
  • Although the service is being affected by COVID-19, the Office of the Public Guardian continues to register Lasting Powers of Attorney and aims to do so within 40 days.
Is it possible to get a donor’s signature on a Lasting Power of Attorney witnessed by video due to lockdown?
  •  Witnessing the donor’s signature by video is not possible.
  • It is not possible to use an electronic signature to complete a Lasting Power of Attorney.
  • If preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney is not essential, it is recommended to wait until the lockdown is eased.
  • If it is necessary to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney urgently, social distancing rules will need to be followed.
How is it possible to find a certificate provider for a Lasting Power of Attorney during the lockdown?
  • A certificate provider is a person who has known the donor for two years.
  • A member of the donor’s family cannot be a certificate provider.
  • A solicitor who prepares the Lasting Power of Attorney can act as a certificate provider.
How is it possible to legalise a Lasting Power of Attorney for urgent use abroad?
  • Firstly, a Notary Public will have to notarise the Lasting Power of Attorney.
  • Secondly, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will need to legalise it and affix an apostille.
  • Some countries might require obtaining a further legislation at the relevant country’s embassy.
  • If an urgent document needs to be legalised, the FCO is to be contacted directly by email.
How will NHS staff find out that a person has a Lasting Power of Attorney (Health & Care Decisions) or Deputyship Order for personal welfare in place?
  •  This information can be found with the help of urgent searches of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) registers.
  • Urgent searches can be requested by email.

If you have a question, please do not hesitate to contact James Cohen directly on jcohen@gscsolicitors.com or 0207 822 2257.

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