Guidance

Making and registering an LPA during the coronavirus outbreak

If you want to make an LPA now, you can as long as you follow government guidance on social distancing and self-isolating.

Applies to England and Wales

The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Autumn and Winter Plan 2021’ setting out plans for autumn and winter 2021/22 in England. See specific guidance for Wales.

On 16 August the government changed the rules on self-isolation.If you’re fully vaccinated or under 18 and 6 months you’re not required to self-isolate if you’ve had close contact with someone with COVID-19. Find out whether you need to self-isolate and how you can protect others if:

If you get any COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test. Find out more about what to do if you have COVID-19. Making a lasting power of attorney (LPA) is an important decision that you should think about carefully.

We are experiencing delays registering lasting powers of attorney. Please allow up to 20 weeks from receipt of your LPA for your application to be processed. This includes a 4 week waiting period required by law.

Please continue to check our coronavirus response page for updates. We will also update this page if government information changes.

There are other ways people can make decisions for you that are quicker to get in place. These may be useful while you’re waiting for an LPA to be registered or if you’re self-isolating and need someone to carry out bank transactions for you.

How do I make an LPA during the COVID-19 pandemic?

This information will help you make one, but you should also use the standard guidance on making an LPA. This guidance is for people making an LPA in England and Wales only.

There is separate guidance for people making an LPA in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Signing and witnessing the LPA

It is important to consider the risks of catching or spreading COVID-19, but there are easy and effective actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us.

You must ensure that you satisfy requirements when making an LPA. Do not:

  • use digital signatures - the document must be printed out and signed by hand with a black pen
  • send people photocopies or scans of the LPA to sign - everyone must sign the same, original document
  • ask people to send you a scan or photocopy of the page they’ve signed - we cannot register an LPA that includes scans or copied pages

Witnessing the donor and attorneys’ signatures

Witnessing must be done in person.

If the donor is not able to use a pen and cannot sign the LPA, someone else can sign on their behalf. The donor and 2 other people must be there in person to witness the signature being made. The 2 witnesses must also sign the LPA.

The certificate provider and donor conversation

The certificate provider must talk to the donor about the LPA to make sure the donor understands it and is not being pressured to make it.

We recommend this conversation happens face to face, but you should consider government guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus. If the conversation has to be over the phone or a video call, the certificate provider should make sure the call is private.

How you can help us register your LPA as quickly as possible

  • Use our online service to make the LPA and pay the application fee by card rather than cheque. Although you’ll still need to print the completed forms to sign and then post to us, it will take us less time to register your LPA. This is because cheques take much longer to process than card payments. If you make the LPA online, you’ll also be able to track the progress of your application through the service without needing to contact us.
  • If the donor and attorney have email addresses, include them on the LPA form. This will make it much quicker for us to contact them if there are any issues.
  • Double check your forms before sending them in. Avoid common mistakes, by making sure:

When you post your LPA to us and when you’re waiting for the registered LPA to be posted back, please make allowances for the postal service. You can see service updates on the Royal Mail website.

Published 17 April 2020
Last updated 4 November 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updating the Welsh text to reflect recent gvernment updates

  2. Updated the Welsh language information to reflect new guidance on 8 October

  3. Updates to English page to reflect guideline changes on 14 September, and to Welsh page to link to new English plan.

  4. Changes made due to 16 August announcement

  5. Updating Welsh information to reflect guidance changes in Wales on 7 August

  6. Edited due to lifting of restrictions on 19 July

  7. Change registration time from 15 weeks to 20 weeks

  8. Amended to reflect guidance change on 21 June

  9. Amends to Welsh text to reflect changes to government guidelines on 7 June

  10. 17 may roadmap changes

  11. Updated LPA processing times (removed duplication), including Welsh version.

  12. Changes made due to May Roadmap

  13. Added translation

  14. welsh version changes

  15. changes made due to roadmap out of lockdown announced Feb. 2021

  16. changes made to the welsh translation after PMs announcement of 4 January

  17. changes due to Lockdown 3

  18. changes to welsh version

  19. Covid 19 timescale update 10 Dec 2020

  20. changes for local tier restrictions from 2/12/20

  21. changes to welsh language version

  22. changes due to lockdown 5/11/20

  23. changed due to lockdown 5/11/20

  24. changes due to lockdown 5/11/20

  25. 12 October 2020 Covid changes

  26. changes to links to social distancing and local lockdown

  27. Changes to welsh language version

  28. Added translation

  29. Added translation and contact information

  30. Edited to include link to local lockdown requirements and for Scotland and NI LPAs

  31. Edited Signing the LPA section

  32. changes made in line with updated Covid regulations

  33. Edited information on signing and witnessing due to changes in social distancing rules from 4 July including link to gov.uk page

  34. Updated to clarify that it is currently possible to make an LPA

  35. Added translation

  36. First published.