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https://publicguardian.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/17/weve-launched-the-new-use-a-lasting-power-of-attorney-service/

We’ve launched the new ‘Use a lasting power of attorney’ service.

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

In recent months it's become much clearer just how important our online services are. With the world going online to communicate and collaborate we’ve been working behind the scenes to make the lives of donors and attorneys easier. 

We want to offer more support to people helping others make decisions. Making better use of digital products, services and smarter ways of working will help us to free up more resources. Allowing us to support our users and help them achieve better outcomes.

We’re modernising our lasting power of attorney processesLast year we announced our ‘Track my LPA’ service - this allows people making an LPA online to track the progress of their application. Now, we’re pleased to launch our ‘Use a lasting power of attorney’ service.

Our new service lets donors and attorneys give organisations access to view an online summary of an LPA.

Drawn laptop screen with text
We're making some of our services more accessible by going online.

How it works

Once an LPA is registered, attorneys and donors will be sent an activation key.

They can create an account online at Use a lasting power of attorney and use the activation key to add LPAs to their account. A donor or attorney can then make an access code which they can give to organisations to view an online summary of an LPA.  

Although attorneys and donors can register for the service, the service makes it quicker and easier for attorneys to use an LPA to support the donor.

We've received lots of positive feedback and valuable insight from donors, attorneys and organisations who have trialled the service.

We’ve been working closely with a range of organisations, including HSBC UK and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), to develop the service.

Maxine Pritchard, head of financial inclusion & vulnerability at HSBC UK Retail said: “We’ve been privileged to have worked with The Office of the Public Guardian on the design and development of the new service to create a much-improved journey for our customers. 

“At a time when it’s even more difficult for our customers, or their support network to get into a branch it was crucial that we found solutions. We’re able to authenticate the LPA so we know it’s a genuine document and of course the customer experience is greatly improved.” 

Sharon Goody from DWP said: “The Use a lasting power of attorney service has allowed us to design a simple and quick process for our DWP customers and their attorneys, to replace the lengthy and often problematic process of requesting power of attorney documents by post for verification purposes. 

“The timescale to receive posted documentation is usually around two weeks which is reduced to days using the online service, resulting in the lasting power of attorney supporting the customer at the earliest time possible. It’s a fantastic service for an attorney, for a customer and for DWP.” 

Gradual roll out

With over 4 million registered LPAs, we will be gradually rolling this service out to our users 

Donors and attorneys with LPAs registered from 17 July 2020 will be able to use the online service. We plan to open up the service to LPAs registered earlier in 2020 and some from 2019, but we do not have a date for this yet. 

We do not have plans yet for opening up the service to LPAs registered before this time, however, we are actively looking at how we might do this. 

If you’re interested in making a lasting power of attorney, you can get more information here.

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55 comments

  1. Comment by Paul Burns posted on

    It's great that OPG have introduced this service. Having to provide the full LPA document to each organisation is time consuming, and getting solicitor copies made can be expensive. The gradual rollout is unhelpful to those who have registered LPAs several years ago. Please get this done as soon as possible. Some years ago, DVLA implemented a simple system to enable drivers to provide access to driving licence data (e.g. for car rental). HMRC tax returns are now online and not just for new tax-payers. What's stopping OPG fully implementing this for existing donors/attorneys?

    Reply
    • Replies to Paul Burns>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Good afternoon,

      As always, we’re focusing on making sure we keep our essential services to the standard the customers need. 

      To introduce this service for LPAs already registered will take time and resource, and we’d need to be sure we are in a position to do this work before making a commitment to provide this service for those with LPAs already registered.

      Thanks, Laura

      Reply
  2. Comment by Peter posted on

    At long last ! You pay enough for the LPA a & then it relies on paper documents more akin to the 19th century which are very difficult to use, relying on the post etc. Also the current documents are easily damaged by the perforations at the bottom of each page sticking together & tearing when the pages are opened.
    All LPA's need to be available digitally asap.

    Reply
  3. Comment by June Green posted on

    I submitted two LPAs for finance and two for property and welfare for myself and my husband, online in May. I haven't heard from them since. Have they disappeared into a black hole? And what is the difference between my submissions on May and the newly launched one?

    Reply
  4. Comment by David Goulty posted on

    Initial application now over 5 months ago, so can I get an update?

    Reply
  5. Comment by Stephen Pett posted on

    Does this mean that it will no longer be possible for a donor to decide when a Finance LPA can start to be used as the Attorneys will have immediate control?

    Reply
    • Replies to Stephen Pett>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Good morning,

      You (or the donor) will still have the ability to make this decision, when an Attorney shares LPA details with an organisation via the service that organisation is immediately informed on the donors instruction on if the LPA can be used immediately or only once the donor has lost capacity to make the decision in question.

      Reply
      • Replies to Laura Crouch>

        Comment by Naomi Pinder posted on

        Under the Mental Capacity Act , capacity is time and decision specific, taken with other legal principles, it means that the box is ticked to say the LPA can be used on registration, in the vast majority of cases. On this basis, how is the DONOR protected against the attorney using the Tool to use the LPA. ?
        I understand the ease and convenience arguments and can appreciate the view of contributors to this discussion but as a solicitor I look to the protection and safeguarding of the vulnerable.
        The aim stated had to make it EASY to make and use LPAs, by implication without the advice from specialist experts. A society is judged by how the weakest and most vulnerable are treated and cared for.
        I remain deeply concerned about the lack of safeguards.
        Specifically, I suggest specialist legal bodies and safeguarding charities are consulted , rather than just working with banks .

        Reply
        • Replies to Naomi Pinder>

          Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

          Hello Naomi

          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 an attorney on an LPA can only make a decision on the donors behalf where even with support the donor is not able to make that decision on their own.

          There is also an option on the financial LPA for the attorney to be able to act with the donors consent where they still maintain mental capacity to do so. If the donor would only like the attorney to make decisions in very specific situations they can specify this in section 7 and where this related to multiple attorneys acting together section 3 of the LPA. This is the same as an attorney acting with a paper version of the LPA.

          Thanks,
          Laura

          Reply
          • Replies to Laura Crouch>

            Comment by Naomi Pinder posted on

            Dear Laura
            Thank you for replying.
            An LPA for finance can be used as soon as it has been registered at the OPG, unless it is stated otherwise. Capacity is decision specific and time specific under the MCA, donor may have capacity to make some decisions and not other decisions. For example donor can understand small amounts of money but not investment decisions, another example is when capacity fluctuates. Attorneys are under a duty to act in the least restrictive way while still protecting donor's best interests, this means that attorneys should not simply take over when donor is failing, donor must be helped and supported to make each and every decision. Therefore, for these reasons, the LPA is usually unrestricted.
            Note that the position with health LPAs is different, they can only be used when donor lacks capacity to make the particular decision when that decision needs to be taken.
            So, in summary, a financial LPA can be used once registered and acts as a general power if attorney. It CAN be used when donor is still capacious. It should be used with donor's consent and upon donor's instruction. My point concerns the protection of VULNERABLE DONORS, if attorneys can simply use an on line tool to register with banks, there need to be safeguards to protect the vulnerable donor.
            I accept that LPAs should be used to appoint trusted people as attorneys. Sadly, this is not always the case. For example, a frail person lives far away from their family and a local person befriends them, gains their trust, gets appointed as attorney. Note that the certiicate provider doesn't need to have any legal or medical qualifiations at all, so no safeguarding at that stage. Then that person has full access to the bank accounts and takes the money. This happens at the moment, by making it easier to use the LPAs, it is easier to misuse the LPA.
            I accept what you say should happen, but sadly, we don't live in a world where everyone is trustworthy and honest. A society is judged on how the vulnerable are protected and card about, and I am still very concerned that this is not addressed in relation to the new on line tool.

  6. Comment by Max Wax posted on

    Is a similar service being developed for Northern Ireland?

    Reply
  7. Comment by Rev Mrs Angela Robinson posted on

    What do I do with the power of attorney I arranged in December 2019? This document sounds like an 'upgrade' and there is no clear advice about what we have to do, not to be passed over in getting the upgrade!

    Reply
    • Replies to Rev Mrs Angela Robinson>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Good afternoon,

      At the moment we’re aiming to add in LPAs registered earlier in 2020 and some from 2019 at a later date which hasn't been confirmed yet. These will be done automatically.

      Thanks, Laura

      Reply
  8. Comment by Naomi Pinder posted on

    Safeguarding measures need to be built in and these appear to be absent.

    Reply
    • Replies to Naomi Pinder>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Good morning,

      The connection to the service is encrypted - https with a certificate. A PDF of the information is generated only on demand and is not stored outside of the server. The access code itself which is generated for an organisation to use expires after 30 days.

      Thanks,
      Laura

      Reply
  9. Comment by Trevor Clarke posted on

    As already commented, as positive move but they roll out for existing LPA needs to be actioned without delay, current paper documents are a pain.

    Reply
    • Replies to Trevor Clarke>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Good morning,

      We're working on modernising the LPA. There's a lot of behind the scenes work currently happening to make sure creating an LPA can be as easy as possible.

      Thanks,

      Laura

      Reply
  10. Comment by Rachel Allen posted on

    Is there anyway to get a demo of how this will work in practice?

    Thanks

    Rachel

    Reply
  11. Comment by Janette Wand posted on

    Does this service apply to LPA PFAs only? Or can it also provide information regarding LPA HWs? And what information does the summary provide for either of these documents? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Replies to Janette Wand>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Good morning Janette,

      This also works for health and welare, NHS, local authorities, social workers, care homes etc. any organisation with access to the internet can accept an LPA using this method if they choose to.

      Thanks,
      Laura

      Reply
      • Replies to Laura Crouch>

        Comment by Janette Wand posted on

        What information does the summary provide regarding the LPA PFA and the LPA HW?

        Reply
        • Replies to Janette Wand>

          Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

          Hello Janette,

          The details on the summary include, names, addresses and date of birth for the donor and attorney. How attorney decisions are made, whether there are instructions or preferences (although the specifics of the instructions and preferences aren't inlcuded) when the LPA can be used, date the donor signed the document and the registration date.

          Thanks,
          Laura

          Reply
  12. Comment by Nick Collingridge posted on

    I submitted a repeat LPA application online and when I did so I was informed during the process that I did not need to pay again. It is now a full month later and I have just received an email telling me that actually I need to pay an additional £41. Fair enough, mistakes happen, so I called the number given which the email said was only used for payments.

    I waited patiently while I was told there was “an unprecedented volume of calls, but someone would be with me shortly”, and that I was first number 2 then number 1 in the queue.This went on for 56 minutes but eventually I had to accept that no-one was ever going to answer my call to make a payment that was apparently not required at the time I made my application.

    Does anyone actually manage anything at the OPG? It certainly doesn’t seem like they do. How can it be possible for it to take 56 minutes to process two payments?

    Or, as I suspect, is there no-one actually answering this number, to make payments for something which is as critically important as an LPA is for most people. And why is it not possible to make this payment, which can apparently only be made by credit/debit card online?

    Finally why does the message tell me to wait on the line, at my expense, for someone to answer when it is obvious no-one intends to do so?

    I am not impressed and I think the OPG is falling very far short of any acceptable service level. I would like to complain about this appalling service but cannot see any way to do it, except presumably to make a phone call which will probably never be answered.

    Reply
    • Replies to Nick Collingridge>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Good afternoon,

      I'm sorry you've had trouble with getting through to us and the confusion around payment.

      If you'd like to complain you can get in touch with our <a href="mailto:OPGComplaints@publicguardian.gov.uk">complaints team</a> who will see to invetigate your concern and see whats gone wrong for you.

      Here is the email address: OPGComplaints@publicguardian.gov.uk you can find our complaints process here - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian/about/complaints-procedure

      I do hope we can sort this for you. Again, i'm sorry you've had issues.

      Laura

      Reply
      • Replies to Laura Crouch>

        Comment by Nick Collingridge posted on

        Thank-you for providing the link to complain, and I will do so, but more useful than that would be some helpful advice about how to make this vitally needed payment.

        I have both tried to call the number given, as I described, and also, as suggested, sent a reply to the email I was sent telling me I needed to pay with a time when I could be reached by phone.

        No-one called me when I made myself available, I have still not been able to make payment and time is running out. I only have five more days to complete this payment before the LPA is rejected. I have not received any further emails from the OPG with assistance regarding this issue which is vital, as with many people's LPAs.

        What do I do next? Please?

        Reply
  13. Comment by Max Thomas posted on

    Another request for earlier registered LPAs to be added to the scheme ASAP. Max Thomas, (Registered attorney)

    Reply
  14. Comment by Sue posted on

    Is this available for professional attorneys also?

    Reply
    • Replies to Sue>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Hello Sue,

      The system does include named professional attorneys, but due to the way it works is not currently available for trust corporations.

      Thanks, Laura

      Reply
  15. Comment by E A Elliott posted on

    This is all well and good but the process for getting the LPA is far too convoluted when using a solicitor in the case of a stroke. My brother died three months before his LPA was registered for health rendering us completely powerless when he was at his most vulnerable. In total the process took nearly 6 months. Far too long and a totally futile exercise.

    Reply
    • Replies to E A Elliott>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Good afternoon,

      I'm sorry to hear about your brother and the of trouble getting an LPA in place. We encourage people to take out an LPA while they're still able to do so to prevent these potential situations.

      If the person has already lost mental capacity they will need to go to the court of protection for a deputyship which can take much longer and is a more expensive process.

      We'd be happy to take forward any comments you have on working with solicitors so we can help to create a smoother process in the future.

      Reply
      • Replies to Laura Crouch>

        Comment by E A Elliott posted on

        Thank you. My brother still had full mental capacity even after his stroke and there is a misconception that you should always consult a solicitor. I’d gladly work with you to streamline this process as I would not wish my experience on anyone else.

        Reply
  16. Comment by Michael Coster posted on

    My experience of the cost and inconvenience of obtaining copies especially in time of pandemic is bad enough but the delay in people returning or even losing originals is even more alarming.

    Please make new arrangement available for pre 2019 registrations as soon as possible .

    Reply
  17. Comment by Lee Buckby posted on

    Do i need to upload the LPA's to my account or are they automatically done and i just add my key to my account and then show the organisation the digital LPA?

    Reply
    • Replies to Lee Buckby>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Hello Lee,

      You will need to create an account online at gov.uk/use-lpa and add the LPA to the account by adding the LPA reference number and activation key received in the registration letter. This isn't done automatically.

      Thanks,
      Laura

      Reply
  18. Comment by James Allison posted on

    I prepared two draft LPA applications, for my wife and self, a few months ago but did not register them. Their details are referenced 3381396681 and 5493807335, but they may require editing.
    In the light of your recent modernised LPA form, should I discard my drafts and resubmit using the new version?
    Thanks
    James

    Reply
    • Replies to James Allison>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Hello James,

      If the LPAs haven't been registered with OPG yet and returned to you as completed then you will be included in the new system.

      Thanks,
      Laura

      Reply
  19. Comment by Peter Litherland posted on

    I am currently being asked by the donor to use a LPA registered in 2015 on his behalf. Would it not make more sense to roll out the new system by allowing Attorneys to apply for an activation code rather than work backwards to "blanket" cover LPAs granted most recently. Surely the most pressing issue should be to give access to the new system when the LPA needs to be used.

    Reply
    • Replies to Peter Litherland>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Hello Peter,

      I shall pass along your suggestion to the teams developing it.

      Thanks,
      Laura

      Reply
  20. Comment by Rachel Allen posted on

    Can you confirm that this solution would still carry all the personal details of the Attorneys and Donor, how they can transact (Joint or Joint & Severally), and any exemptions the LPA contains that could impact us?

    We would also need to be able to download it into a format we could save down and attach to the PAS so we have an historic record of it - will this be possible?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Rachel Allen>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Hello Rachel,

      The details on the summary include, names, addresses and date of birth for the donor and attorney. How attorney decisions are made, whether there are instructions or preferences (althought the specifics of the instructions and preferences aren't inlcuded) when the LPA can be used, date the donor signed the document and the registration date.

      Thanks,
      Laura

      Reply
  21. Comment by Andy Chapman posted on

    Whilst I'm glad to see this progressing, it hardly scratches the surface if LPoA documents were registered before 2020/2019. I'm a LPoA registered in 2013 and have been driven up the wall by organisations not recognising perfectly valid documents. Having to have certified copy LPoA documents re-certified three times is no joke. It's wasted huge amounts of my time and been one of the most stressful processes I've ever had to handle. As another comment says, it's been like dealing in last century processes. Please make haste to make this accessible to all LPoAs.

    Reply
    • Replies to Andy Chapman>

      Comment by Jayne posted on

      I totally agree. Online visability cannot come soon enough for ALL POAs. Financial organisations seem determined to make acting as POA as difficult as possible and their delays and failures in returning POA documents makes doing anything other than face-to-face a nightmare.

      Reply
  22. Comment by Wayne hay posted on

    Hello I have received my mother’s two LPA’s and have registered them on the new use lasting power of attorney service will I be able to pass on a code to organisations such as bank,utility bill providers if so what portal do they use (website) to put the code in to see the digital LPA’s

    Reply
  23. Comment by Alison Walker posted on

    Yes please - the current situation is very difficult. My LPAs for my mum were registered in July 2019. When can I expect an activation key?

    Reply
    • Replies to Alison Walker>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Hello Alison,

      We don't have a date yet for adding in applications from 2019.

      Thanks,
      Laura

      Reply
  24. Comment by Ronald posted on

    Laura
    May I make a suggestion.After unsuccessfully trying to obtain an activation key ,for LPoA issued in 2015.I found that you were only at this sage doing 2020.There must be many more who have tried,
    Would it be possible to put the date you are working up to,thereby
    saving a lot of time and effort

    Reply
    • Replies to Ronald>

      Comment by Laura Crouch posted on

      Good afternoon Ronald,

      Applications created after the 17 July 2020 will be automatically added to this service and we will be working to add in those created earlier in the year and from 2019 but we don't have a date for this just yet. This is explained in the blog post in a bit more detail.

      Thanks,
      Laura

      Reply
  25. Comment by Jules McGill posted on

    Husband appointed me and his brother as LPA Health and Finances.
    Entered onto the registration on 7 May.
    We received notification of this on May 9th
    However, I am having discussions with the NHS regarding misconduct in January and need a certified copy of LPA. I have sent the registration details, but I am told they cannot tell me their findings without a certified copy. I have not recieved any activation codes to do this online. I spoke to the OPG this morning and was told she would send me details of LPA activation and the office would call me to take 35 pounds for a copy.
    As it is the NHS, could they not access our LPA?

    Reply

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