The Office of the Public Guardian have unveiled their new online service for Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).
In a move which will attempt to make life easier for an Attorney, once an LPA has been registered, the Attorney’s status to act can be checked online, as opposed to using the paper document.
To recap, an LPA is a document which elects an Attorney to act on behalf of a person known as the Donor, should that Donor no longer have the capacity to act for themselves. LPAs can be provided for different scenarios broadly known as Property & Finance, and Health & Welfare.
Once the LPAs have been prepared and registered at the Office of the Public Guardian, the paper versions can be provided to organisations to be registered. The new digital service allows the documentation to be viewed online by an organisation by way of an access code, as opposed to the traditional approach of reviewing the paper document.
Digital access in theory will be helpful, particularly in the current climate with the social distancing measures in place. However, it begs the question of security. How secure is the process, how does the verification take place, and how can it be protected against abuse? LPAs provide an enormous amount of power to an Attorney and, rightly so, financial organisations are very careful when it comes to verifying an Attorney’s identification, and motive. The OPG have confirmed that the process allows for the Donor to be safeguarded, with measures in place to protect the Donor from abuse.
Like all digital upgrades, we will have to wait and see how it performs in practice. We always recommend you seek legal advice when thinking about preparing LPAs given the nature of the document and the level of authority they can provide to your Attorneys. A member of our Wills, Trusts and Probate team are more than happy to assist you. Please do get in contact with us on 01228 552222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.