Certification of LPA

Is s.3 Powers of Attorney Act 1971 no longer in force? This stipulates (1) certification on each page that it is a true and complete copy of the original page, plus (2) certification at the end of the document that the copy is a true and complete copy of the original document, each signed by the donor, a solicitor, an authorised person or a stockbroker.

There is no requirement there for any office stamp or date at all.

Michael Cutler
Colemans Solicitors LLP

Doesn’t the certification on each page originate from the requirement in the 1971 Powers of Attorney Act, hence why a certificate is needed on every
page, and not just on the front page as we all do for all other documents?

Lee Young
Frettens LLP

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See s3(1)(b) Powers of Attorney Act 1971, which says that the contents of a power of attorney “may be proved” by a copy certified on each page and a final certificate if the power is more than one page, and does not require a date. Many read “may be” as “can only be”.

Anthony Kalp
Berry & Lamberts Solicitors

I’ve been signing and dating every page since 2015 (and so has every firm I’ve worked at as a locum solicitor)

Gov.uk website… How to certify a copy LPA:

Write the following text on the bottom of every page of the copy:

“I certify this is a true and complete copy of the corresponding page of the original lasting power of attorney.”

On the final page of the copy, you must also write:

“I certify this is a true and complete copy of the lasting power of attorney.”

You need to sign and date every page.

Karen Shakespeare

1 Like

Not a new problem - I have long thought that the education of bankers is seriously lacking in many respects.

To add what seems to be a new thread, when in practice I normally used copies certified in accordance with s3 of Powers of Attorney Act 1971, and found these acceptable to National Savings, Land Registry, stockbrokers/registrars, and most banks/building societies. Admittedly, there are always some clerks who will be difficult, normally out of ignorance, but can/should we gravitate to the lowest common denominator, as I fear our conveyancing colleagues have done?

To those unfamiliar with the PoAA1971, s3 basically requires a certificate at the foot of each page and a further certificate on the last page. My secretaries found it routine to print a certificate onto a photocopied page [reduced size if needed] and then copy as required. Dates weren’t mentioned, but could easily be added if desired - leaving merely the “pain” of signing multiple times - and am I the only one to remember signing/countersigning multiple cheques on client/office accounts?

In response to Kathy, I suspect that Legal Executives were added in 2007, but confess I have not checked that point.

Kevin Mullen

There is no statutory requirement for the certificate on a copy power of attorney, of any kind, to include a date.

There was a time when if a power of attorney more than 6 months old was presented, the attorney’s authority was routinely queried. If copies are dated, might we end up with the validity of the copy being queried if more than 6 months old?

Unless there is good reason why a copy power should be dated, I suggest it is a “need” that should be dropped. If, however, a real mischief exists if copies are not dated, this should be addressed by Parliament, and not some practice note on the gov.uk website. Next, someone will think it a brilliant idea that copies will need to be on coloured paper – the colour changing at least once a year to avoid abuse.

Where third parties reject a copy power for the lack of a date in the certification, I suggest they be asked to refer the matter to their legal team so that the statutory requirements for a copy can be confirmed.

Paul Saunders

The general theme here is that the system is broken.

  1. Combine both LPAs into one document.
  2. Have a 1 page Certificate confirming who the attorneys are.
  3. OPG should provide copies of certificate at nominal cost (such as Grant of Probate)
  4. If members on here cannot convince OPG that the system is now broken then the Law is an ass.

Graham Carver
York Estate Planners

Isolating a costs point. What is a fair and reasonable charge for producing a certified copy signed and dated on every page?

Vincent Oakley