At Face to Face Estate Planning, we’re experts in all things to do with Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPAs). And we like to bring that knowledge to you, so you can make informed decisions when it comes to planning your estate and related later life documents. In this article, we’ll be going over one of the finer points when it comes to LPAs – the use of “people to be notified”.
Sometimes known as “people to notify”, “people to be told” or “named people”, this option used to be mandatory but in recent years has been removed as a requirement. You’re able to use this as an option if you feel the need. For example, you may choose to notify family members who aren’t being used as attorneys, so they have the opportunity to view the LPA and understand what it means.
Read on to find out more about what this option does, what it’s for, and why you might need it for your LPA.
What does it mean to name someone as a person to be notified?
When you set up an LPA, you have the option to notify people about the LPA itself. What this does, simply, is inform the person named that the LPA has been established and gives them some details about the legal document. You should generally speak to the person before naming them, to make sure that they understand the process and what it means for them.
The purpose of being able to do this is as an optional safeguard for people going under the power of the LPA (the “donor”). What this allows you to do is notify people that the LPA is being made, which you might do for example to make important people in your life feel included, or to ensure that people are kept up to date.
Notifying people is also a useful way to allow other people to give the LPA a look over to ensure nothing seems out of place or unexpected. For example, if you’re considering getting an LPA, you might tell someone that you will always notify them of an LPA that you intended on setting up. That way, if an LPA is set up and that person isn’t notified, they’ll know that it could have been done against your wishes.
People who are notified also have the power to object. Another reason to notify somebody might be that it’s much harder for them to object later on if you notify them of the LPA’s existence from the outset. If they don’t object before the LPA is registered, it’s more difficult for them to object later. Whereas, if you don’t inform them, they can object later on and cause difficulty for your attorneys. You might use this if there’s a member of your family who you know may cause problems due to a family argument, for example.
What are the responsibilities of a person who’s notified about an LPA?
The notified person will receive a notice that the LPA has been sent to be registered, which will include some details about it. They don’t have to do anything, but they should ensure they read and understand the notice, as not acting now could affect their ability to object later.
The document will explain that they can object to the registration of the LPA, and it’ll explain the reasons why they could do so. The types of objection that you can make to an LPA come under two categories:
A factual objection means that the person notified believes that one of the facts the LPA was created using is incorrect. Some factual objections may include:
- The donor is dead
- An attorney is dead
- An attorney lacks the capacity to be an attorney.
A prescribed objection means that the person notified believes that the LPA may have been created in an illegal way. Some prescribed objections may include:
- The donor was pressured into making the LPA due to fraud
- An attorney intends to act against the donor’s best wishes
- The donor has already cancelled the LPA.
You can find the entire list of objections on the LP3 form on the gov.uk site.
Any objection that the notified person raises will be taken seriously by the Court of Protection. Being notified about an LPA is a serious role, and you should ensure that you’re able to properly understand the notice itself and any actions you may have to take.
At Face to Face Estate Planning, we strongly recommend including a person to notify when making LPAs, as it adds an extra level of security for the donor.
LPAs can be complex documents, with lots of different factors to balance, like the donor’s needs, family situations, which attorneys to choose, and many more. For some professional help with your LPA, speak to Face to Face Estate Planning. We offer a discreet, expert service that can help you get this important document sorted.