Updated on 17th January 2023, The Public Guardian holds registers for lasting powers of attorney, enduring powers of attorney, deputies, and guardians. This article explains the rules for notifying the OPG of deaths concerning the registers.
When should the OPG be notified of a death?
It is a requirement of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) that they should be notified of the death of:
· the donor of a registered enduring or lasting power of attorney
· an attorney acting under a registered enduring or lasting power of attorney
· a replacement attorney
· a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection
· someone for whom the Court of Protection has appointed a deputy (P)
· a guardian appointed by the High Court
· someone for whom the High Court has appointed a guardian (the missing person)
A death can now be reported to OPG by email, telephone or letter.
If someone involved in a lasting power of attorney (LPA) or enduring power of attorney (EPA) dies, the person reporting the death will be asked to send the original LPA or EPA (together with any certified copies) to the OPG. If someone involved in a deputyship dies, the OPG will tell the relevant person what to do on a case-by-case basis.
Following notification, in each case, the OPG will use the Life Event Verification (“LEV”) system to verify the death. LEV retrieves data directly from the General Registrar’s Office, so additional proof of death is not required unless this is requested by letter or email.
If a death results in the cancellation of an LPA or EPA, the OPG will now confidentially dispose of the original document once proof of death has been confirmed. Previously, the cancelled documents were returned. If a personal representative would like the LPA or EPA to be returned then a request must be made in a covering letter when sending the documents to the OPG.
The OPG will then notify the attorney(s) by letter when the LPA or EPA has been cancelled.
Death of a donor of a registered LPA or EPA
The Public Guardian is obliged to cancel an enduring or a lasting power of attorney if they are satisfied that the power has been revoked as a result of the donor’s death.
Death of an attorney acting under a registered enduring or lasting power of attorney
It is also necessary to inform the OPG when an attorney has died. The amended EPA or LPA will be returned or cancelled if the deceased attorney was a sole attorney.
Death of a replacement attorney (lasting powers of attorney only)
One notification of death which can easily be overlooked is the requirement that the OPG must be notified of the death of a replacement attorney, even if OPG has not amended the LPA to allow them to begin acting on the donor’s behalf.
Death of a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection
OPG must be notified by the executor, personal representative, or a family member of the deputy that the deputy appointed by the Court of Protection has died. The register of deputies can then be updated. This will help close any ongoing court applications. The Court may decide that a replacement deputy is required.
Death of P (someone for whom the Court has appointed a deputy)
The OPG must be notified of the death of P so that the register of deputies can be updated. The death will bring the deputyship to an end.
Death of a guardian appointed by the High Court
A guardianship order is revoked upon the death of the guardian unless the order appoints more than one guardian, and the guardians were not appointed to act jointly. The Public Guardian must be notified of the death of a guardian by the executor, personal representative, or a family member of the guardian. The Public Guardian’s register of guardianship orders can then be updated.
Death of someone for whom the High Court has appointed a guardian (the missing person)
A guardianship order is revoked upon the death of the missing person. OPG must be notified by the guardian, executor, personal representative, or a family member of the death of the missing person so that the Public Guardian’s register of guardianship orders can be updated.
Find out more
To find out more about putting an LPA in place, amending an LPA, or advice on an attorneys duties, please contact our specialist later life planning team who will be more than happy to help.