The function of the Office of the Public Guardian is to protect people who don’t have the ability to make their own decisions (i.e. lack mental capacity). It maintains the registers of Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney and also of court orders appointing Deputies.
To make a Lasting Power of Attorney with professional help, go here.
What the Office of Public Guardian does.
The Public Guardian is an individual who works with the Office of the Public Guardian. Their job is to protect people who lack the mental capacity to look after themselves. They do this by:
- registering Enduring Powers of Attorney and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
- supervising deputies and working with other organisations such as social services (if the person who lacks capacity is receiving social care).
- instructing Court of Protection visitors to visit people who may lack mental capacity and the people who make decisions on their behalf.
- reviewing reports from deputies and attorneys acting under a Lasting Power of Attorney.
- investigating concerns about how attorneys and deputies are acting, including making reports to the Court of Protection.
Asking for information from the Office of the Public Guardians registers.
You can search to see if there is a registered Lasting Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney for someone you are concerned about. You can also search to find out if there is a deputy acting on their behalf.
To apply for a search you need to complete the ‘OPG100’ application form. You will need to send your completed form and cheque to:
Office of the Public Guardian.
PO Box 15118
You do not have to pay a search fee if you are one of the following:
- a registered health care professional (such as a doctor or nurse).
- a representative of a public authority, for example a local authority or the police.
Information you will get from a search of the registers
If you make a search of the registers you will be told things like:
- if there is a deputy looking after the vulnerable person.
- If there is an Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney in place, and the date it was made and registered.
- The case number it has been given.
- Names of the donor, deputy or attorney.
- Date of birth of the vulnerable person.
- Any conditions or restrictions on the Lasting Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney or deputy order (but not specific details about them.)
- The date the Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney was cancelled (if it has been cancelled).
- The date the deputyship order expired or was cancelled (it has expired or been cancelled.)
Second tier search – if your first search doesn’t meet your needs
If the information you receive following a search does not meet your needs you can make a more detailed search. This is called a ‘second tier search’.
A second tier search will provide more information about the donor or the person who has a deputy acting for them than the first search. To do this you must first write to the Office of the Public Guardian with the following information:
- the name of the donor/person the order is about.
- The specific information you need and the reason you need it.
- Why you have been unable to get the information from the person themselves.
You can write to the Office of the Public Guardian at this address:
Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 15118
The Office of the Public Guardian will consider your application before deciding whether to release more information. This will depend on things such as:
- Your relationship to the person.
- The information you are requesting.
- Why you wish to access it.
You don’t have to pay an extra fee for a second tier search of the registers.
For information concerning the Office of the Public Guardian for Scotland, click here.