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OPG launches new online service for using LPAs

View profile for Leah Vincent
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In recent months it has become much clearer just how important online services are. With this in mind, the Office of the Public Guardian (“the OPG”) has been working behind the scenes to make using Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”) easier, by launching the ‘Use a Lasting Power of Attorney’ service. This is a new online service, which allows donors (the person who granted the LPA) and attorneys to give organisations access to view an online summary of an LPA.

What is an LPA and what is it used for?

An LPA gives another person or persons (known as your attorneys) the authority to act for you if you are unable to do so yourself. That authority continues even if you lose mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.

There are two types of LPA:

  1. Property and financial affairs; and
  2. Health and welfare.

You can have either or both types of LPA.

Attorneys can use LPAs (once registered with the OPG) to assist donors with a range of everyday tasks, from managing property and helping with finances to deciding what types of medical treatment they receive.

How does the online service work?

Once an LPA is registered, attorneys and donors will be sent an activation key.

Donors and attorneys with LPAs registered from 17 July 2020 will now be able to make use of the new online service, by simply setting up an online account (https://www.gov.uk/use-lasting-power-of-attorney ) and using the activation key to access any LPAs on their account. A donor or attorney can then make an access code which they can give to organisations to view an online summary of an LPA. This means that an attorney can access an LPA from virtually anywhere and an organisation can quickly authorise its use.

The OPG has been working closely with a range of organisations, including HSBC UK and the Department for Work and Pensions to develop this new online service.

What if I registered an LPA prior to 17 July 2020?

With over 4 million registered LPAs, the OPG will be gradually rolling out this online service for LPAs registered prior to 17 July 2020 and is actively looking at how they will do this.

Next steps

This is clearly a step in the right direction for attorneys to be able to use an LPA much more quickly and easily to support the donor and keep them and their assets safe when they may be vulnerable.

To ensure that your LPA is registered successfully with the OPG, it is important to obtain specialist advice before drafting the application. If you would like to discuss making a Lasting Power of Attorney, please contact our Private Client department on 01242 574 244 or on cxf@hughes-paddison.co.uk.