image reads 'new service "use an LPA" launches from office of the public guardian'

New “Use an LPA” Service Launches from Office of the Public Guardian

LPA

Last year, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG, the public body which handles lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) and deputyships) announced a new service for those registering LPAs. The service, called “Use a lasting power of attorney”, aims to make it easier for attorneys and donors to share details of their LPA with relevant organisations.

Here at Face to Face Estate Planning, we’re big fans of anything that should make the LPA process easier for people to use and implement. One of the difficulties with the LPA system is ensuring that you inform all of the companies and services that the donor deals with of the LPA, so this new system should make that process far easier and less intensive.

What does the “Use a lasting power of attorney” service do?

The new service allows you to share the details of an LPA with relevant third parties in a secure way, using the new web platform from the OPG. Both attorneys and donors can share a summary of the LPA with third party organisations.

For third party organisations, this provides a quick and easy way to check if an LPA is valid and download a copy of it to be added to the customer’s account. For donors and attorneys, the service should make it easier to inform companies of the existence of the LPA and hopefully speed up some of the paperwork processes that need to be taken care of when an LPA is put into force.

If your LPA is eligible, you will receive a reference number and activation key in your registration letter from the OPG. You’ll need to create an account with the service online, and add the LPA to it. Once you’ve done this, it’s an easy process to add organisations who can view the LPA.

When you add an organisation, a secure access code will be generated. You can then simply share this with the organisation, and they can then enter it on the service, along with the donor’s surname, to access the details of the LPA.

Who’s eligible?

The “Use a lasting power of attorney” service is only available for new LPAs. This means those which are registered on or after the 17th July 2020 last year. If your LPA was created before then, it unfortunately isn’t eligible for this new service, although the OPG have said that they are working on making older LPAs eligible for the service.

What are the benefits?

This service is designed to help attorneys and donors inform companies and services of the existence of the LPA. Often, when an LPA comes into force, there is a lot of paperwork involved in informing relevant organisations – this new service aims to simplify this process.

For example, you generally need to contact banks and utility companies to allow attorneys to access the donor’s accounts. You’ll often have to contact local councils to help deal with council and property taxes, as well as speaking to service companies such as insurances and other subscriptions.

Due to data protection laws, many of these companies may also not give attorneys any information on the accounts before proving the validity of the LPA, so this new service should make that process significantly quicker as LPAs can be accessed online.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, this service can also make it easier to inform companies of the LPA and its validity without having to visit in person to show paper copies.

The service offers peace of mind for donors that attorneys have all the information they need in a handy, easy-to-share document that can be quickly shared with the relevant organisations.

You can find out more about the “Use a lasting power of attorney” website at the Office of the Public Guardian website.

If you need help with getting an LPA set up, speak to Face to Face Estate Planning. We’re the experts in LPAs (and other forms of estate planning advice too!). Just click here to get in touch.