Your Certificate Provider does an important job and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) need them to be independent.
One of the things that the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) system sought to reduce/remove the misuse of the attorney appointments – worse still ‘fraud’. The former Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) system was much simpler, both in execution, and registration with the OPG. And, the ‘cross checks’ were limited. Read more about the difference between Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
And so, step forward LPA’s, and more particularly, the new role of ‘certificate provider’.
What is a Certificate Provider?
The certificate provider of an LPA will certify (apologies for the duplication!) to the OPG that the person making the LPA is:
- capacity – they are of sound mind or ‘compos mentis’
- knowledge – they understand the full extent of the appointment they about to make
- duress – is NOT being put under pressure by anyone to make the appointment
This is a significant ‘safety net’, and it is important that the certificate provider fits certain criteria. So, who cannot, and equally who can act as certificate provider?
Who can NOT act as Certificate Provider?
This largely centres around the certificate provider being ‘independent’. Obvious as it might be, they must be 18 and of sound mind – so if they are a minor or lacking in capacity, they can not be a certificate provider.
The categories of persons that can not act as certificate provider are:
- the attorneys – whether the first appointed or substitute
- relative or partner of attorneys (again, whether first appointed or substitute)
- relatives or partner of the donor
- business partners of donor or attorneys
- anyone associated with the nursing home where the donor resides
Why can someone from a Care Home not be Certificate Provider?
Again, we’re back to the need for total independence. Given that the care home would no doubt be charging the patient/donor for their care, there is a clear conflict of interest.
Is a Certificate Provider the same as a Witness?
No. The certificate provider is assuring the OPG that the donor is not under duress, has capacity, and full knowledge of what they’re about to sign over to their attorneys. Witnesses will separately be needed to witness the signatures of the donor and attorneys. There is however no restriction on the certificate provider witnesses both the donor and attorney signatures. Also, the certificate provider’s signature does not need to be witnessed.
Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors
We hope you found this and our many other online resources helpful. Do remember, our guides are just that and are not intended to be taken as legal advice specific to you. If you do need help with any aspect of LPA’s, do reach out to our expert estate planning solicitors! You can leave a comment below, call, or email us. Thanks – from all at Team QLAW!