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Donor Certified Copy of LPA not accepted by Financial Institution

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,028
Newcastle
My wife has an amount of money in a savings account with a fairly well-known savings bank (but not one that you would find on any high street). Following on from my success in registering my Power of Attorney with the high street bank that holds her current account, I felt that I ought to do the same for her savings account. But the provider wants to see either the original Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) document or a copy certified by any of the following:

- bank or building society official; mortgage or finance broker; individuals representing an FCA authorised firm; minister of religion; dentist or doctor; chartered accountant; solicitor or notary;qualified teacher or lecturer (ie not a teacher's assistant)

I have properly Certified Copies of the registered LPA signed by my wife as Donor (back in 2016 when she was first diagnosed) in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Having raised a query by telephone today I have been told by the financial institution that, whatever the OPG guidance says, they are able to make additional rules for themselves. They will not accept a Donor Certified Copy. Nor do they have any 'public facing' offices where I can present the original document and proof of identity and address in person. Sending them the original through the post is not a sensible option..

I find this to be extremely unhelpful and potentially costly as I will now need to approach someone from the list above to certify every page of a copy of the LPA. Which sounds to me like money and time wasted.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,620
North Manchester
I assume you have challenged them with

'You can confirm that a copy of your lasting power of attorney (LPA) is genuine by ‘certifying’ it if you’re still able to make your own decisions.'

https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney/certify


If PM me the name of the bank I will probably be able to give the the email of the CEO. Short, concise, factual emails to CEOs can work wonders.
 
Last edited:

Philbo

Registered User
Feb 28, 2017
827
Kent
I got certified copies of our LPA's from the solicitors who provided our wills. From memory, I think they only charged around £20 for 3 copies of each LPA for both myself and my wife, as we were existing clients.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,816
Chester
Do you know, through your cycling club perhaps, any teachers or other suitably qualified people. Perhaps a message to the chair to ask him/her if there is anyone suitable among the membership.

If you ask anyone to do it officially ie at work they will charge, although as Philbo says not a huge amount sometimes. I paid similar for mine using a solicitor I found via google.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,028
Newcastle
Thanks @nitram. I did challenge the man I was speaking to and twice he had to go away to speak to someone else (a supervisor) for advice - why couldn't I speak to that person myself? - returning each time to tell me that their rules trump anything the OPG says. I may take you up on your offer if I can't resolve it otherwise.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,620
North Manchester
returning each time to tell me that their rules trump anything the OPG says.
If going up the food chain to query their action would suggest:
  • Not accepting copies certified in accordance with Court of Protection rules could loose them new customers.
  • Accepting copies not certified in accordance with these rules potentially leaves them open to a challenge as to their legal validity in any future contention.
I have always had rapid success emailing CEOs, as have other members acting on my suggestion, except once when it did not work first time, an institution could not understand the difference between 'interest accrued and credited at date of death' and 'interest accrued but not credited at date of death'. This meant 2 x '6 bottles of wine' as apologies!

 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,535
Kent
I had solicitor certified copies of dad's poa as he didn't have mental capacity as donor to certify his own, however I and my OH have just certified copies of ours if needed in the future. It really isn't good enough for an institution to try this on without realising and accepting that the rules set by the OPG are fully legal and should be accepted in their entirety. I this case what is to stop an institution making up all sorts of other in house rules!
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,535
Kent
Institutions are at liberty to make up their own in house rules.

Interestingly the 'certify by donor with capacity' is not included in primary legislation
Section 3 in https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1971/27

It's a COP add on
Ok thanks Nitram..hardly seems fair though that self certified copies may be a pointless exercise... I may get solicitor certified copies done as well in case my children need them at any point
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,240
My mother's solicitor charged £25 for a certified copy, hopefully you will be able to get this done without too much expense or bother.
 

fortune

Registered User
Sep 12, 2014
146
I had exactly the same problem with NS&I who were adamant they had their own procedures whatever CoP had to say. It is very frustrating and exhausting when you have so many other calls on your time (and emotions). In the end I sent them one of four solicitor certificated copies, which they then rejected as they didn't approve of the wording. Back to the solicitor, re-certification, another 15 pounds. Sent them the new one, which they accepted and promised to send back. It was never returned to me. Lost either by NS&I or the solicitor.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,620
North Manchester
Sent them the new one, which they accepted and promised to send back. It was never returned to me.

It's always worthwhile attaching a Post-It note saying, 'Do not shred, to be returned to sender'.
Many organisations automatically scan and save correspondence and then shred the original
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,028
Newcastle
I had exactly the same problem with NS&I who were adamant they had their own procedures whatever CoP had to say. It is very frustrating and exhausting when you have so many other calls on your time (and emotions).
Fortunately my wife's NS&I investments (originally 65+ pensioner bonds) were all up for renewal or cashing in earlier this year. With the costs of self-funded care growing my advice was to cash them in and (with significant input from me) she was able to do so online, so no need to worry about power of attorney.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,240
It's always worthwhile attaching a Post-It note saying, 'Do not shred, to be returned to sender'.
Many organisations automatically scan and save correspondence and then shred the original
That would explain why I seem to get the LPAs back at a rate of about 1 in 2 - despite always emphasising in the accompanying letter that it is to be returned to me. £25 down the drain each time.

SunLife specifically told me they would scan and return the LPA - they confirmed four weeks ago that it has been received and accepted but it has not been returned. It's SunLife, so I am not surprised.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
12,012
London
Whatever it was, I haven't lost anything yet, because I always write a covering note emphasising that the enclosed document is my property that cost money to obtain, and that they have no right to keep it or dispose of it and that I need it back ASAP - has worked so far, though I admit not with LPA copies, but with death certificates and other documents.
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,535
Kent
I too wrote an assertive covering letter to go with the certified copy of lpa that it should be sent back by signed for post as I always sent it by signed for. I probably sent out a copy 3 or 4 times for dad and always received it back..not always by signed for but I felt adding that emphasised the importance for safe keeping and return of the document.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,240
I too wrote an assertive covering letter to go with the certified copy of lpa that it should be sent back by signed for post as I always sent it by signed for. I probably sent out a copy 3 or 4 times for dad and always received it back..not always by signed for but I felt adding that emphasised the importance for safe keeping and return of the document.
SunLife asked me to send it by recorded or registered post and said the would return it the same way. I sent it by registered post. Despite that, and my explicit instructions to return it, nothing has come back. Whereas when I applied to the DWP for AA, they promptly returned it. I think some organisations are just in general pretty hopeless, it's pot luck.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,620
North Manchester
A problem with covering letters is that they can just get scanned without reading, same with any documents, and then all originals shredded.
A Post-It note has a chance of attracting attention.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,240
A problem with covering letters is that they can just get scanned without reading, same with any documents, and then all originals shredded.
A Post-It note has a chance of attracting attention.
I'll try both next time. They actually had to read the letter because it had info they requested about the policies. You'd hope that returning the LPA would be automatic, wouldn't you - apparently not!