What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
When you put your name to a legal document, it’s considered that you understood the effect of the document that you signed – if you sign it in your own solicitor’s office, it is presumed that you have asked for and received advice on what you are signing, and this forms part of the legal service that you have paid for.
Where you are signing a Lasting Power of Attorney there are even more specific instructions – and these apply not only to you, the person giving the power, but also to your attorneys and the witnesses. This is one of the reasons why solicitors like to have the attorneys in the office to sign – because they can ensure everything is signed correctly, in the right place and in the right order.
The regulations are very strict on who can sign the document, how they sign it, and who can witness signatures, and in what order these can occur – and if the regulations are not followed, there is a high possibility that the document will be rejected as being invalid.
- Your signature – this should be your usual signature – even if you do not use your full name or all your initials in your signature.
- Your full name – this should be your full legal name – Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor (as an example).
If there is a space for your address (as there is for witnesses to both the donor’s signature and the attorney’s signatures) then your complete address, including postcode, must be inserted, legibly. A failure to include an address, or with any part missing (including part of the postcode), could result in rejection by the Office of the Public Guardian.
The documents do state very clearly that the donor should sign first, and that their signature should be witnessed, before the certificate provider signs the document. Each attorney should sign after the certificate provider has signed – it is acceptable for all to be signed on the same day, but not to be signed in any other order.