At present, in order for an attorney to use a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), donors or attorneys must usually provide certified paper copies to each relevant third party (e.g. banks, financial service providers and medical professionals).
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has just announced the launch of its “Use a Lasting Power of Attorney” service, which aims to make the lives of donors and attorneys easier by allowing them to give third parties online access to a summary of the LPA instead. This new service is one of the ways in which the OPG is modernising and simplifying its LPA processes. Once an LPA is registered, attorneys and donors will be invited to create an online account and sent an activation key to add the LPA to the account. Once the LPA is added, donors and attorneys can then create an access code to share with third parties so that they can view a summary of the LPA online. Donors and attorneys will also be able to keep track of who has been given the access code.
The new service is certainly a welcome change to the current paper heavy LPA regime and will hopefully make acting as an attorney under LPAs easier in the long run for both attorneys and third parties. The OPG reports “positive feedback” from those who have trialled the service, though it remains to be seen how widely it will be used and whether it will present any new risks, particularly for vulnerable individuals.
There are, however, limits to its application and immediate usefulness as, currently, it can only be used for LPAs registered from 17 July 2020 onwards, so it will, at least initially, have little benefit for the vast majority of registered LPAs in existence. The OPG plan to make the service available for other LPAs registered earlier in 2020 and in 2019, but they have not given a date for when this will take effect.
You can find further information regarding the new service by clicking on the following links:
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