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https://publicguardian.blog.gov.uk/2020/09/09/use-a-lasting-power-of-attorney-your-questions-answered/

Use a lasting power of attorney – your questions answered

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Attorneys, Digital, Future planning, lasting power of attorney, LPA

Since we launched the Use a lasting power of attorney service on 17 July, we’ve received lots of questions from people wanting to know more information on how the service works and how it is helping our customers. We’ve put these questions to Caroline (Kaz) Hufton (Lead Product Manager) to get the answers!

 

How does the Use a lasting power of attorney service work?

Customers whose LPAs are registered by the OPG (this is the last thing we do before returning it to you) on or after the 17 July 2020 will receive an LPA reference number and activation key in their registration letter. Both attorneys and donors on the LPA will receive these details. They can then visit www.gov.uk/use-lpa to create an account and add the LPA by using the reference number and activation key, along with their date of birth. Once the LPA is added, the customer can choose to share the details by generating a secure access code to provide to third party organisations. The third party can then view the LPA details by going to www.gov.uk/view-lpa, adding the customer name and secure access code. This enables the organisation to check the LPA is valid and offers a downloadable version of the LPA summary to save for their records.

 

Who is this service available for?

This service is available to users with an LPA registered on or after 17 July 2020. We are currently working on making this available for older LPAs from earlier in 2020 and some from 2019, but don’t yet have a date for this. Both attorneys and donors can use this service as they both receive an LPA reference number and activation key in their registration letters.

Any organisation can access the summary of the LPA once they have been provided with a secure access code from the user. The don’t need to register to use the service. So long as they have the donor’s name and the access code, they will be able to view the summary of the LPA and see if the LPA is valid.

 

Will you be adding in LPAs that have been registered before 2019?

Putting older LPAs onto Use an LPA is something we are considering, however, there are cost implications and this will not be possible unless there is the funding in place. We are a self-funded organisation and cannot proceed with putting older LPAs on until the costs are approved.

 

What can organisations see when they access the LPA summary?

Use an LPA screenshotDonor and attorney details can be accessed through a secure access code, this includes –

  • Names, addresses and DOB
  • How attorney decisions are made
  • Whether there are instructions or preferences (although the specific instructions and preferences aren’t included)
  • When the LPA can be used
  • Date the donor signed the LPA
  • LPA registration date

 

What happens if there are specific instructions and preferences on the LPA?

The vast majority of LPAs do not have instructions or preference listed in them. In the small minority of cases where there are instructions or preferences listed on the LPA, third parties should still request sight of the paper document to check these the first time they access the LPA.

 

How is this service helping our users?

The Use an LPA service is intended to better assist donors and attorneys in sharing the details of the LPA with organisations. It provides peace of mind, particularly to those who may be experiencing reduced contact with others, that their wishes can still be actioned, and for attorneys to continue to support the donor.

While newly registered donors and attorneys have access to the Use an LPA service upon registration, there is a banner at the top of the page which, when accessed by anyone, shows whether the LPA is valid and whether the attorney can act while the donor has mental capacity (on property and finance LPAs). There is also confirmation that, in these instances, the attorney can only act with the donor's permission.

An LPA is an agreement between a donor and attorney(s) and is registered by the OPG on the understanding that the attorney is somebody that the donor trusts. This includes the understanding that, before creating and sending the LPA, the donor has spoken to the attorney about how and when they should act.

 

How will the third-party organisation, such as a bank or utility company, know if that person does or doesn’t have capacity and the attorney is acting correctly? 

It is important to remember that ultimately, it’s the legal responsibility of an attorney to support the donor with their decision-making and act in accordance with the choices made by the donor in their LPA. This is unchanged from the existing paper process, and it is up to third party organisations to ensure they are satisfied that this is the case. In instances where the donor does not have capacity to make a decision, even with support, it is the attorney’s responsibility to ensure they act in the donor’s best interests.

 

Can I use this service with anyone? Such as the local council, car insurance, subscription services?

This service is accessible to any organisation who may need to check the LPA details and confirm the LPA is valid. The service is accessed through www.gov.uk/view-lpa and if the organisation has the donor’s name and the secure access code given to them by the attorney or donor, they are able to view the LPA summary. We are working with our partners to inform them of this service and can offer help and support on how to use it.

 

Will this service affect how and when the attorney can act on behalf of the donor?

When an attorney can act has not changed with the introduction of this service. This means the attorney can only use the LPA to make a decision for the donor if, even with support, they can't make that decision for themselves so long as that decision is in the best interest of the donor. In instances where the donor has chosen that a PA LPA can be used immediately upon registration, the attorney can use the LPA to carry out wishes of the donor only with obtained consent.

An LPA is an agreement between a donor and attorney(s) and is registered by the OPG on the understanding that the attorney is somebody that the donor trusts. This includes the understanding that, before creating and sending the LPA, the donor has spoken to the attorney about how and when they should act.

It is important to remember that, in instances where the donor has not chosen that an attorney can act for them while they have capacity, or for health & welfare LPAs, an attorney can only make a decision on the donor's behalf where, even with support, the donor is not able to make that decision on their own.

 

How it works

We have a link to our demo video which shows how the service works for our customers and third-party organisations which you can view here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UG6vwGB6cE&feature=youtu.be ). This video is purely for demonstration purposes.

 

Welsh language version launched!

We are constantly working to develop this and other services, and we are delighted that the Welsh language version of the Use a lasting power of attorney service has now launched – you can now access this https://www.gov.uk/defnyddio-atwrneiaeth-arhosol

 

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3 comments

  1. Comment by Jacquie Cheney posted on

    Great, maintaining security/privacy, whilst at the same time allowing access to those who may need it to ensure the donor's wishes are being followed/adhered to.
    Well done to the Office of the Public Guardian.
    I am sure, or at least hope that, more and more people are availing themselves of this very reasonably priced safe and practical service.

    Reply
  2. Comment by Terence Roberts posted on

    LPA for both property & finance and health & welfare for myself and my wife, with me as attorney for my wife and my wife as attorney for me, with my two daughters named as attorneys on the forms.
    Am I correct to assume the combined fee would be £164 for each of us ie: £328?
    Me forms are being deltwith by Legacy Wills at the moment, can they be sent separately?
    or do they need to be sent together?

    Reply

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