8. Office of the Public Guardian
The Office of the Public Guardian is a national body that protects people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. It is responsible for registering LPAs, maintaining a record of all LPAs, and dealing with objections. There is also a contact centre that will be able to answer any questions you have, such as how to get an application form, or offer you help in completing the form (although they cannot provide legal advice). See ‘Other useful organisations’ below for contact details.
The OPG also deals with any issues or complaints about the way in which an attorney is acting. If they find any serious problems, they may pass the case on to the Court of Protection, who can:
- decide whether a person has capacity to make particular decisions for themselves
- make declarations, decisions or orders on matters affecting people who lack capacity to make these decisions, on either financial or welfare issues
- decide whether an LPA is valid
- remove attorneys who fail to carry out their duties
- listen to cases where someone objects to the registering of an LPA (someone may object if they feel that the person was forced into making it, or that the proposed attorney is not suitable).