In March 2020 the country went into a National Lockdown and working remotely for most people became the new norm. As the world moved to working online The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) realised how important it is for registered Lasting Powers of Attorney to be accessed online and introduced ‘Use a lasting power of attorney’ service.
The new service allows donors and attorneys to give third party institutions access to view an online summary of both Lasting Powers of Attorney. The idea is that it is a quick and simple process and will avoid postal delays.
How will it work?
When a Lasting Power of Attorney is registered both the donor and attorney(s) will be sent an activation key. They can use the activation key to create an online account and provide them with an access code which they can give to third party institutions.
The access code only lasts for a period of 30 days.
When will it be rolled out?
Lasting Powers of Attorney issued after the 17th July 2020 will be able to use the online service.
The OPG are also planning to roll this out to Lasting Powers of Attorney registered in early 2020 and some from 2019, but a date for this has not yet been set.
The new online service has caused some concerns to donors. Most are concerned that their registered Lasting Powers of Attorney will be used without their authority.
According to the OPG, the ‘Use a lasting power of attorney’ service displays a banner at the top of the page which confirms that the Lasting Power of Attorney is valid and if, in most cases, the donor has ticked the box that the Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can be used as soon as it is registered and whilst the donor still has capacity.
With the display of the banner the attorney can only act with the donor’s permission, therefore third party institutions should complete their own due diligence and that the attorney has the authority/consent to act.
When putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney, you have to trust your attorneys will act in your best interests if you become unable to do so. If you have concerns about your attorneys using the Lasting Powers of Attorney without your authority then you may have not picked the right people.
Further information and guidance can be found on the government’s website.
If you would like further information about the new online LPA tool or advice about making Lasting Powers of Attorney, please call our Wills and Estates team on 01206 574 431 or by e-mail at email@example.com