On 17th July 2020, the Office of the Public Guardian launched their ‘Use a lasting power of attorney’ service, which lets donors and attorneys give organisations access to view an online summary of their lasting power of attorney (LPA).
An LPA is a legal document which allows a person (the donor) to appoint another person (or people) (the attorney) who will have the authority to act on their behalf if at some point in the future they are not able to make decisions on welfare money and property for themselves. They are often made by older people, but any person of any age is able to make one. In fact, younger people are being encouraged to make LPAs as a way of planning for their future. The number of registered LPAs is on the increase, with 4 million being registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
How It Works
Usually, paper-based processes mean that organisations such as banks and healthcare providers had to be provided with a hard copy LPA which had been certified by a solicitor. This can often be difficult and time consuming to arrange.
Under the new system, once an LPA is registered, both attorneys and donors will be able to create an account and add LPAs to it. They can then provide the relevant organisation with an access code, allowing the organisation to confirm their status as an attorney and what power they hold to act on their loved one’s behalf. This means that decisions can be made by attorneys much more quickly and a lot more easily – which can be important especially when the donor is in hospital.
The new system will maintain the existing checks that ensure that LPAs are not being abused by people trying to take advantage of the vulnerable and elderly.
The online portal will also track which organisations have been given access to the LPA, so that attorneys can easily see which organisations need to be updated should circumstances change.
Currently, only donors and attorneys with LPAs registered from 17th July 2020 will be able to use the online service – but there are plans to open the service up to LPAs registered earlier in 2020 at some point in the future.
If you would like to create or amend a lasting power of attorney, Stella Maris Solicitors LLP can help. Telephone 01793 296118 or email Mail@stellamarissolicitorsllp.co.uk for more information or advice.