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Legal News | 10.06.21

Lasting Powers of Attorney: making donors’ and now (some) attorneys’ lives even easier

Regular readers of our newsletters may remember that in August 2020 we reported on the launch of The Office of the Public Guardian’s (‘OPG’) new digital “Use a Lasting Power of Attorney” tool.

The tool was designed to simplify the process whereby attorneys notify financial institutions and care providers of their appointment. When it was launched, the tool was available only for LPAs registered on or after 17 July 2020.

What has changed since August 2020?
The OPG has recently announced that the service will now be available for LPAs made on or after 1 September 2019 to date.

How will this make attorneys’ lives easier and how do I use the service?
Once an LPA is registered, the donor and attorney(s) will be sent an activation key. The attorney(s) will be able to access the “Use a Lasting Power of Attorney” tool (https://www.gov.uk/use-lasting-power-of-attorney) where they can create an account and use the activation key to add the relevant LPA to that account.

The attorney(s) will then be able to generate an access code, which can be passed to each financial institution with whom the donor holds accounts. Those financial institutions will in turn be able to use this code to access a portal where they will be able to view a summary of the LPA and confirmation that the attorney’s appointment is valid. If the LPA contains any particular instructions, for example regarding the management of investments or access to medical records, then it may be necessary for the attorney to share a physical copy of the document with the relevant institution(s). This will be for each institution to determine. The online tool does however provide a useful starting point in terms of confirming the donor’s and attorneys’ details.

Is it working?
Since its launch in July 2020, over 1 million activation keys have been issued for registered LPAs, attorneys on 85,000 LPAs have registered to use the service, 27,000 access codes have been provided to organisations and over 17,900 LPAs have been viewed online by hundreds of different organisations.

What does the future hold?
The OPG has confirmed that it will continue its work to extend the system to cover a greater number of LPAs. It is be hoped that once the OPG sees the success of this new system, it will be extended to cover all LPAs going back to 2007. It might take the OPG some time to achieve this, but we will of course keep you updated if and when there are further developments.

If you would like to discuss putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney that will benefit from this new tool, then please get in touch with your usual contact or email us via wealth@wansbroughs.com.


Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team