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Notice of intention to register

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Notice of intention

Before you can register a lasting power of attorney (LPA) or an enduring power of attorney (EPA), you must give notice of your intention to register it. This requirement is aimed at safeguarding the interests of the person who is granting the power of attorney (the 'donor').

Lasting power of attorney

Who must be notified?

A LPA can only be effective when the document is registered. However, before registration can go through, notification must be made to all those listed (if any) in the LPA as 'people to be told' (previously referred to as 'named persons'). These are the people whom the donor, decided should be notified about the intention to register the LPA before the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) may register it. These 'people to be told' have 3 weeks from the date of the notification to object to the registration. This functions as a safeguard for the donor. Relatives are not entitled to notice unless they are listed as 'people to be told' in the LPA.

You may proceed with your application to register the LPA as soon as you have notified all of the 'people to be told'. You do not need to wait for them to decide whether they want to object.

How to send notice

You must send notice of your intention to register the LPA to each 'person to be told' using the form 'LPA 1 - Notice of intention to register an LPA.' Either the donor or the attorney(s) named in the LPA can register the document; both need to send notice. If the attorneys in the LPA are acting jointly, they must all apply for the registration and give notice of their intention to register by completing and signing this form.

You can either post the form or deliver it by hand to each of the 'people to be told'. The date you post or hand over the form will be treated as the date of notification.

Notice from the Office of the Public Guardian

The OPG will send notice to the donor (if the attorney(s) are registering) or to the attorney(s) (if the donor is registering) to inform them of the intention to register. In both instances, they will be given the opportunity to object to the registration.

Enduring power of attorney

Who must be notified?

Only the attorney(s) listed in an EPA can register the document. Before registration can go through, the attorney(s) must give notice to all those who require it under the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) using the 'EP1 PG - Notice of intention to register an EPA' form.

The donor and any non-applying co-attorney(s) must be notified. At least 3 of the donor's relatives must be notified. The MCA prescribes a priority order in which the relatives must be notified. The order is based on how closely related the relatives are to the donor and categorises relatives into different classes:

1. Donor's spouse or civil partner

2. Donor's children (including adopted children, but not step-children)

3. Donor's parents

4. Donor's brothers and sisters, whether of the whole or half blood

5. The widow or widower or surviving civil partner of any deceased child of the donor

6. Donor's grandchildren

7. The children of the donor's brothers and sisters of the whole blood

8. The children of the donor's brothers and sisters of the half blood

9. Donor's uncles and aunts of the whole blood

10. The children of the donor's uncles and aunts of the whole blood

How does the notification rule work?

To work out which 3 relatives must be notified, you must use the prescribed order in the MCA, starting with the donor's spouse or civil partner. If there is no spouse or civil partner, then you move on to the next class, which is the donor's children. If there are no children, or not enough children to satisfy the requirement that at least 3 relatives are to be notified, then you move on to the next class in the given priority order. You repeat this process until you have established the first 3 relatives who must be notified.

There are 2 exceptions to the notification rule - the first resulting in less than 3 relatives requiring notification, while the second may result in more than 3 relatives being notified.

Less than 3 relatives need to be notified

Where there are less than 3 relatives alive who fall within the classes set out in the MCA, you only have to notify as many relatives as are alive.

For example, if the donor is only survived by their spouse and a single parent, then only their spouse and parent need to be notified; resulting in a total of 2 relatives who need notification.

More than 3 relatives need to be notified

In certain circumstances all relatives in a particular class must be notified, which can result in more than 3 relatives requiring notification. This exception applies where:

  • There is more than one relative in a particular class, for example, the donor's children
  • There are less than 3 relatives in the classes preceding that class in the prescribed order
So, for example, if the donor has a spouse, 1 child, 10 siblings and their parents are dead, then all 10 siblings must be notified; giving a total of 12 relatives in all who must be notified.

Relatives who are not entitled to notification

There are some situations where relatives, who ordinarily would be entitled, are not entitled to be notified. This applies when:

  • The attorney(s) are not be able, after reasonable efforts, to obtain the address of one of the relatives in the list
  • Relatives are not yet 18 years of age
  • Relatives are not mentally capable
If this is the case, the attorney(s) should notify the Office of the Public Guardian of the inability to give notice so that this fact is properly recorded and taken into account.

In addition, there may be certain situations where an attorney does not want to notify a relative. If this is the case, you will have to apply to the Court of Protection (COP). The Court is most reluctant to deprive relatives of their legal entitlement to notice unless there are exceptional circumstances or if it is satisfied that serving notice would be undesirable, impracticable or serve no useful purpose.

What if notifying the donor will cause problems?

There may be instances where it will be inappropriate to give notice to the donor using EP1 PG because it will cause too much distress. If this is the case, an application should be made to the COP before you apply to register. The COP will then consider whether to dispense with notice. You cannot dispense with notice to the donor unless the COP agrees.

How must notice be given?

Notice must be given personally to the donor, whilst relatives must be given notice by first class post and all the EP1 PG notices must be sent within 14 days of each other.