New online service for using Lasting Powers of Attorney

On 17 July 2020 the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) launched its new digital “Use a Lasting Power of Attorney” (LPA) tool. This tool can be used for newly registered LPAs to enable an Attorney to contact Financial Institutions and/or Healthcare Providers and will improve the speed with which the Attorney will be able to act and make important decisions for the Donor.

The person making the LPA is called the “Donor” and the personal appointed to act on their behalf is called the “Attorney”.

Under the paper-based system, once an LPA has been registered with the OPG, the Attorney must provide the Financial Institution or Healthcare Provider with a physical copy of the registered LPA.  This process often leads to delays in the Attorney being able to make decisions on behalf of the Donor and act for them.  The Covid-19 pandemic has brought additional challenges and the whole process can be frustrating, particularly when the Attorney needs to act urgently.

The new digital service allows the Attorney to provide a secure code, which when submitted to the online portal, will confirm their status as an Attorney and the power they hold.  It also maintains the existing checks which include confirming whether someone has the legal right to act as an Attorney and the powers given to them in the LPA, protecting the vulnerable and elderly from abuse.  The new service will ensure Attorneys can make effective and efficient decisions when managing the Donor’s affairs.

Whilst this new tool is currently only available for newly registered LPAs, the OPG are working to extending the systems to already registered LPA.

If you would like further advice about the issues raised in this article or advice on completing an LPA or acting as an Attorney, please contact our specialist Private Client team at Rowberry Morris Solicitors.