The Public Guardian

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Public Guardian
  • Public Guardian functions
  • The registers
  • Supervision and visits
  • Supervision
  • Court of Protection visitors
  • Reports
  • Security
  • Safeguarding
  • Contacting the Public Guardian
  • More...

The Public Guardian

The Public Guardian is a statutory office-holder and an appointee of the Lord Chancellor. The holder of the role of Public Guardian is also chief executive of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), which is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice and was established on the commencement of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005) on 1 October 2007.

One of the principal aims of MCA 2005 was to separate the judicial powers of the Court of Protection from the administrative and supervisory role of a government agency. Under MCA 2005, the Court of Protection exercises the statutory jurisdiction over the property and affairs of the mentally incapacitated person (P), but the practical administration and supervision of P's affairs is carried out by the Public Guardian. The Public Guardian is also the registration authority for lasting and enduring powers of attorney.

Public Guardian functions

The statutory functions of the Public Guardian, in relation to the mental capacity jurisdiction, are set out in MCA 2005:

  1. establishing and maintaining a register of lasting powers of attorney (LPAs)

  2. establishing and maintaining a register of orders appointing deputies

  3. supervising deputies appointed by the court

  4. directing a Court of Protection Visitor to visit the following and make a report to the Public Guardian on such matters as they may direct:

    1. a donee of an LPA

    2. a deputy

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