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Online service to improve lasting power of attorney

View profile for Zoe Johnson
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The duties of attorneys acting under a lasting power of attorney (LPA) have been given a boost with a new online system designed to speed up the management of affairs.

A ‘donor’ appoints an ‘attorney’ when they make a lasting power of attorney (LPA) and appoints someone to manage their affairs and make decisions about their health and welfare, money and property.  Whilst a lasting power of attorney is an essential document in the past the process has been delayed in a paper bound system.

The new service unveiled by the Office of Public Guardian (OPG), is a digital ‘use a lasting power of attorney’ tool and the aim is to help the attorney contact organisations like banks and healthcare providers more easily and speed up the whole process.  It also removes the need to visit branches, something which is welcomed in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The current system can frustratingly take weeks as paper documents need to be requested and then confirmed between organisations and individuals.  These physical documents then have to enter the postal system and so there are obvious delays and a knock on effect for clients,” said Zoe Johnson, trainee solicitor.

“What is also excellent in the new service is that the checks to confirm legal rights are still maintained, it is a new smart way of working and I am sure it will benefit our clients,” she added.

The new service will allow the attorney to provide a secure code, which when submitted to the online portal will confirm their status as an attorney and the power they hold – authorising them to take actions on their loved ones’ behalf.

Nick Goodwin, Public Guardian for England and Wales, added:  “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.”

For advice on making a Lasting Power of Attorney contact the team at Pearson Solicitors for a friendly no-obligation chat – call 0161 785 3500 or email enquiries@pearsonlegal.co.uk

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.