This is a general guide to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).  The OPG helps people in England and Wales to stay in control of decisions about their health and finance and make important decisions for others who cannot decide for themselves.

The OPG also oversees the duties of the attorney.  If a family member or friend or other relevant third party suspects that the attorney may be abusing their position, then the OPG will investigate (although only if the donor has lost capacity).

Sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, the OPG is an executive agency and the law differs slightly for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The OPG supports people by:

  • helping people plan for someone to make decisions for them, should they become unable to do so because they do not have mental capacity
  • supporting people to make decisions for those that do not have the ability to decide for themselves

It also carries out the legal functions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017.


The responsibilities are:

  • to register lasting and enduring powers of attorney, so that people can choose who they want to make decisions for them
  • taking action where there are concerns about an attorney or deputy
  • maintaining the registers of attorneys and deputies
  • supervising deputies appointed by the courts and making sure they carry out their legal duties
  • looking into reports of abuse against registered attorneys deputies

Reporting an attorney or deputy

Contact the OPG to report:

An Attorney or Deputy can be reported to the OPG for concerns about, for example, the misuse of money or decisions that are not in the best interests of the person they’re responsible for.  You can only report an attorney, however, if the donor has lost capacity.  If the donor has not lost capacity, it is deemed that the donor can report the attorney themselves.

A report can be made by either:

  • using  the concern raising form – OPG 130; or
  • write or email

Form OPG 130

Note: The OPG can only investigate if the donor or client lacks mental capacity to deal with the concerns and lacked mental capacity at the time the concerns happened.

Email the form to:
please write ‘Concern raising’ as the subject

Write to the OPG

You can also write to, email or call the Office of the Public Guardian although you will usually get a quicker response if you use the form.

Details to include

Either way, include in your report:

  • the donor or client’s details (including full name, address and date of birth)
  • the date you first noticed the concern
  • any evidence you have to support the concern – for example, financial records
  • what you know about the donor or client’s mental capacity, including copies of any mental capacity reports or names of who might have these
  • your contact details

If you do not have all of this information, you can still report a concern.

After you make your report, the Office of the Public Guardian will then check if it has the legal authority to investigate.

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