The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has released a new digital tool to make it easier to operating Lasting Power of Attorney.
Named ‘Use a Lasting Power of Attorney’, it is available through the OPG’s pages on GOV.UK and will help people acting as attorney for others to contact organisations such as banks and healthcare providers.
They will be able to provide a secure code that will then be submitted to the online portal to confirm their status as attorney almost instantaneously – thereby authorising them to take action on behalf of the person they are representing.
OPG said the tool maintains existing checks, including to confirm whether someone has the legal right to act as attorney and the powers they be entitled to.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows people to appoint someone else (an attorney) to make decisions about their welfare, money or property. The paper based processes for dealing with other organisations can take weeks, as documents have to be requested and confirmed between organisations and individuals before being posted.
Best possible support
Nick Goodwin, Public Guardian for England and Wales, said: “More people are taking the important step to plan for the future and apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney, and we want to make sure those they entrust with making vital decisions on their behalf receive the very best possible support.
“Our new digital service will ensure attorneys can make effective and efficient decisions when managing their loved ones’ affairs – without the delays a paper based services can cause.
“But this is just one part of our ambitious transformation programme and we are constantly looking at how we can improve as an organisation to benefit the public and our partners.”
The new system has been tested by various stakeholders, including the Department for Work and Pensions and HSBC UK, who aim to use it to maintain services to their customers during the coronavirus pandemic.