The Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) have launched a new online service “Use a lasting power of attorney”. The aim behind this tool is to enable attorneys to liaise more efficiently with financial institutions and healthcare providers when making decisions in regards to a donor’s finances, property or care.
The service has already been tested by organisations like the Department for Work and Pensions and HSBC UK, who have proposed to continue using it moving forward.
The previous process was paper based and attorneys were generally required to submit copies of the donor’s Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”) to all the relevant organisations, which could take several weeks. Under the new service, attorneys will only be required to provide a secure code, which when inputted into the system, will immediately confirm their role as attorney. The new tool, will enable organisations to carry out all of their necessary checks on attorneys, hopefully in a more secure and faster manner.
For the time being only newly registered LPAs will work under this new system. Crucially, there are likely to be implications in terms of donors who may not want the LPA to come into effect immediately. The safeguards are yet to be ascertained, but it is likely that many donors will opt to delay registering their LPAs, particularly their Property and Financial Affairs LPA.
Nick Goodwin, from the OPG, has confirmed that the move to this online service was in response to “more people… taking the important step to… apply for a LPA” and the need to therefore ensure that attorneys receive the “best possible support” to make “effective and efficient decisions when managing their loved ones’ affairs”.
At The Wilkes Partnership Solicitors, we can assist you with the various stages of the LPA process, including preparing the LPAs for you and even acting as a professional attorney for you if you wish. We can also make a deputyship application to the Court of Protection for a loved one who has lost capacity and we are able to act as a professional deputy for them too if this is required.
We have offices in central Birmingham and Shirley, Solihull and are ready and available to arrange appointments to suit our clients needs.