The Office of the Public Guardian has unveiled a new online service for registered Lasting Powers of Attorney, which is designed to help attorneys prove their status to banks, health care providers and other organisations.
The idea behind the new service is to enable attorneys to grant access to a third party such as a bank, who can then view an online summary of the power of attorney and be able to authenticate its holder. This is designed to enable attorneys to more easily confirm their authority to act and remove the need to rely on the current paper-based system.
When the power of attorney is registered, both the named attorney and the person granting the power will be sent an activation code to allow them to create the online account and which they can then grant access to when required.
To begin with, the service will only be available to powers of attorney registered from 17th July this year, although there are plans to extend the service so as to enable powers of attorney registered earlier this year and potentially some from 2019 as well. As we understand it, there are no plans to extend the scheme to older registered lasting powers of attorney and so many attorneys will still need to rely on paper certified copies, but going forward, this new service could prove a great help.
There are though concerns about the new service particularly in relation to it being exploited and the need to keep the activation codes and details of the online account secure.
Colman Coyle has considerable experience in acting for individuals in relation to powers of attorney whether you are looking to grant them or for those acting as attorneys on behalf of somebody else and if you would like to discuss the issues raised here, please contact Patrick Green on +44 (0)20 7354 3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.