Anyone who has ever applied for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) will know how slow the process can be. Whilst some of the time taken to register a LPA is due to statutory waiting periods, in the current digital world and the speed with which some transactions proceed at, the LPA registration period can be frustrating, particularly if it is likely that there is an impending need for Attorneys to be able to use the LPA.
Once the LPA has been registered the process doesn’t stop there in that contact needs to be made with the various financial institutions to update their records of the existence of the LPA and with details of the Attorneys. In short, it can be a long and slow process.
In an attempt to modernise, the Office of the Public Guardian has launched a new service to enable Donors and/or Attorneys to create an account with the OPG with a view to sharing key summary information of the LPA with various third parties. It is hoped that this will have the effect of making it quicker and easier for Attorneys to support their Donors.
At present only those LPAs that have been registered from 17 July 2020 will be invited to use the service but the OPG aims to expand the service to LPAs registered earlier than this date in due course.
As an LPA specialist myself, I can see the benefits of the OPGs proposals by improving the client journey and speeding up the sometimes cumbersome approach by financial institutions. At a time when it has been difficult for people to leave their property and make appointments with third parties, the process of registering an LPA with third parties has become almost impossible, thereby denying help to those vulnerable clients who have needed it the most. I think this is a welcome addition to the OPG service.