Re XZ; XZ v The Public Guardian: CoP 19 May 2015

XZ executed an LPA which stipulated a number of restrictions and conditions designed to ensure that his attorneys did not act until his incapacity had been unequivocally confirmed by two psychiatrists, whose opinion was subject to review by a ‘protector’, and had endured for a minimum period of 60 days. The Public Guardian refused to register the LPA because he considered that the conditions imposed an unreasonable fetter on the attorneys’ power to act and were, therefore, ineffective as part of an LPA.
Held: Lush SJ granted a declaration that the LPA did not contain any provisions which would render it ineffective and made an order that the Public Guardian register the instrument. The court held that the Public Guardian’s function under paragraph 11 of Schedule 1 to the Act was limited to considering whether the conditions and restrictions in an LPA were ineffective as part of an LPA or would prevent the instrument from operating as a valid LPA. If he concluded that they could not be given legal effect, then he was under a duty to apply to the court for determination of the point under s.23(1). Otherwise, he had a duty to register the power. Neither the court nor the Public Guardian was concerned with whether a restriction that does not contravene the terms of the 2005 Act might pose practical difficulties in its operation. In this case, the Public Guardian had failed to identify any specific provision of the Act or the 2007 Regulations or the common law of agency that had been infringed by the provisions in XZ’s LPA.


Lush SJ


[2015] EWCOP 35




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedThe Public Guardian v DA and Others CoP 5-Oct-2018
The court considered the validity of lasting powers of attorney in the authorisation of euthanasia, and the appointment of multiple attorneys. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Agency, Health

Updated: 23 May 2022; Ref: scu.546869