Atterbury Payne Solicitors

Lasting powers of Attorney and Digital Registration

We’re all aware of the importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), a document we arrange while we’re able to make decisions for ourselves. It appoints someone we trust to make decisions on our behalf if we become unable to do so.

But did you know the document once in place can be accessed by your attorney through the Office of the Public Guardian’s web portal?
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) intend that this access will assist the attorney when they need to act for the donor and to help the organisations which will want to see the LPA in place before they can allow the attorney to act in the donor’s affairs.

Currently, the Office of the Public Guardian is busy scanning the paper documents so they may not have got around to scanning on older LPAs but the ambition is to have all the LPAs available. When an attorney wants to use the service he/she will need to register and provide the registration code which appears on the OPG letter, they then will receive an activation key from the OPG. When the activation key is obtained, they can view the document and can also have third parties view the document, such as the account holders and service providers who want to see the attorney has the authority to act.

There are security concerns, that an attorney, by using the online platform can begin to exercise the authority of the form without the donor’s knowledge.
The OPG has not added a further layer of security to allay these fears but instead, comments the appointed attorney should be a person the donor trusts not to act ‘behind their back’ and that the attorney who acts in this way would be liable to a claim of abusing the authority given to them and could be reported for this.

The new regime of digitisation may influence the decision as to whether to restrict the power of your attorney being only able to act once you have lost capacity.
Restricting your attorney’s power in this way may make life more difficult if you are faced with a physical issue rather than a mental capacity issue in the future so careful
consideration should be given to any restrictions included in an LPA.

If you’re facing a similar situation and require legal guidance to help you determine the best course of action, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. We’re here to provide the support and expertise you need.

By Kevin Norcross, Charted Legal Executive

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