Anyone who has gone through the process of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) knows that the documents are technical and time consuming to prepare. For your attorneys to use the LPAs you then need them registered by the OPG which can take months. In spite of these difficulties, having your attorneys provide organisations with an acceptable copy of the registered LPA can often feel like the most difficult part.

As well as your attorneys having to provide the same information time and again to every organisation you have assets or accounts with, each organisation will have their own set of policies and regulations. Does your attorney need to visit in person with their idenfitifation? Do they need an original or a certified copy? Can you risk posting an original? Has the copy sent in to the bank been lost? Has it been lost more than once?

In order to make it easier for an attorney to use the LPA, the OPG has confirmed that once an LPA is registered, attorneys and donors will be sent an activation key to allow them to create an account online and add the LPA to the account. They can then create an access code that they can give to any other relevant organisation, so that it can view an online summary of the LPA and authenticate its holder.

The OPG claim that this should enable attorneys to more easily confirm their authority to act where necessary, replacing the current paper-based system that can take weeks, while maintaining the current safeguards to protect the donor from abuse by someone posing as an attorney.

The service is being rolled out first for LPAs registered from 17 July 2020 and, although some early 2020 LPAs may be included in the scheme in due course, it is unlikely that the OPG will retrospectively issue codes for LPAs created in 2019 and earlier.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.