Category Archives: Office of the Public Guardian

New Office of the Public Guardian Services for LPAs

The Use a lasting power of attorney service for new Lasting Powers of Attorney should be a major stride forward in their ease of use. 

How does the Use a Lasting Power of Attorney service work?

LPAs are registered by the OPG on or after the 17 July 2020 will receive an LPA reference number and activation key in their registration letter. Both attorneys and donors on the LPA will receive these details. They can then visit www.gov.uk/use-lpa to create an account and add the LPA by using the reference number and activation key, along with their date of birth. Once the LPA is added, the customer can choose to share the details by generating a secure access code to provide to third party organisations. The third-party can then view the LPA details by going to www.gov.uk/use-lpa , adding the customer name and secure access code. This enables the organisation to check the LPA is valid and offers a downloadable version of the LPA summary to save for their records.

Who is this service available for?

At present only for newer Lasting Powers of Attorney, but they are working on making it available for older LPAs from earlier in 2020 and some from 2019, but don’t yet have a date for this. Both attorneys and donors can use this service as they both receive an LPA reference number and activation key in their registration letters.

Any organisation can access the summary of the LPA once they have been provided with a secure access code from the user. They don’t need to register to use the service. So long as they have the donor’s name and the access code, they will be able to view the summary of the LPA and see if the LPA is valid.

See the service demonstrated below:

Will you be adding in LPAs that have been registered before 2019?

Putting older LPAs onto Use an LPA is something the Office of the Public Guardian are considering, however, there are cost implications and this will not be possible unless there is the funding in place. The OPG is a self-funded organisation and cannot proceed with putting older LPAs on Use until the costs are approved.

What can organisations see when they access the LPA summary?

Use an LPA screenshotDonor and attorney details can be accessed through a secure access code, this includes –

  • Names, addresses and DOB
  • How attorney decisions are made
  • Whether there are instructions or preferences (although the specific instructions and preferences aren’t included)
  • When the LPA can be used
  • Date the donor signed the LPA
  • LPA registration date

What happens if there are specific instructions and preferences on the LPA?

The vast majority of LPAs do not have instructions or preference listed in them. In the small minority of cases where there are instructions or preferences listed on the LPA, third parties should still request sight of the paper document to check these the first time they access the LPA.

 

How is this service helping our users?

The Use an LPA service is intended to better assist donors and attorneys in sharing the details of the LPA with organisations. It provides peace of mind, particularly to those who may be experiencing reduced contact with others, that their wishes can still be actioned, and for attorneys to continue to support the donor.

While newly registered donors and attorneys have access to the Use an LPA service upon registration, there is a banner at the top of the page which, when accessed by anyone, shows whether the LPA is valid and whether the attorney can act while the donor has mental capacity (on property and finance LPAs). There is also confirmation that, in these instances, the attorney can only act with the donor’s permission.

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.

How will the third-party organisation, such as a bank or utility company, know if that person does or doesn’t have capacity and the attorney is acting correctly? 

It is important to remember that ultimately, it’s the legal responsibility of an attorney to support the donor with their decision-making and act in accordance with the choices made by the donor in their LPA. This is unchanged from the existing paper process, and it is up to third party organisations to ensure they are satisfied that this is the case. In instances where the donor does not have capacity to make a decision, even with support, it is the attorney’s responsibility to ensure they act in the donor’s best interests.

Can I use this service with anyone? Such as the local council, car insurance, subscription services?

This service is accessible to any organisation who may need to check the LPA details and confirm the LPA is valid. The service is accessed through www.gov.uk/view-lpa and if the organisation has the donor’s name and the secure access code given to them by the attorney or donor, they are able to view the LPA summary. We are working with our partners to inform them of this service and can offer help and support on how to use it.

Will this service affect how and when the attorney can act on behalf of the donor?

When an attorney can act has not changed with the introduction of this service. This means the attorney can only use the LPA to make a decision for the donor if, even with support, they can’t make that decision for themselves so long as that decision is in the best interest of the donor. In instances where the donor has chosen that a PA LPA can be used immediately upon registration, the attorney can use the LPA to carry out wishes of the donor only with obtained consent.

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, in instances where the donor has not chosen that an attorney can act for them while they have mental capacity, or for health & welfare LPAs, an attorney can only make a decision on the donor’s behalf where, even with support, the donor is not able to make that decision on their own.

How it works

A link to a demo video which shows how the service works for donors and third-party organisations which you can view here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UG6vwGB6cE&feature=youtu.be ). This video is purely for demonstration purposes.

 

Office of the Public Guardian

Office of the Public Guardian Lasting Power of Attorney.

The function of the Office of the Public Guardian is to protect people who don’t have the ability to make their own decisions (i.e. lack mental capacity). It maintains the registers of Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney and also of court orders appointing Deputies.

To make a Lasting Power of Attorney with professional help, go here.

What the Office of Public Guardian does.

The Public Guardian is an individual who works with the Office of the Public Guardian. Their job is to protect people who lack the mental capacity to look after themselves. They do this by:

  • registering Enduring Powers of Attorney and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
  • supervising deputies and working with other organisations such as social services (if the person who lacks capacity is receiving social care).
  • instructing Court of Protection visitors to visit people who may lack mental capacity and the people who make decisions on their behalf.
  • reviewing reports from deputies and attorneys acting under a Lasting Power of Attorney.
  • investigating concerns about how attorneys and deputies are acting, including making reports to the Court of Protection.

Asking for information from the Office of the Public Guardians registers.

You can search to see if there is a registered Lasting Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney for someone you are concerned about. You can also search to find out if there is a deputy acting on their behalf.

To apply for a search you need to complete the ‘OPG100’ application form. You will need to send your completed form and cheque to:

Office of the Public Guardian.
PO Box 15118
Birmingham
B16 6GX.

You do not have to pay a search fee if you are one of the following:

  • a registered health care professional (such as a doctor or nurse).
  • a representative of a public authority, for example a local authority or the police.

Information you will get from a search of the registers

If you make a search of the registers you will be told things like:

  • if there is a deputy looking after the vulnerable person.
  • If there is an Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney in place, and the date it was made and registered.
  • The case number it has been given.
  • Names of the donor, deputy or attorney.
  • Date of birth of the vulnerable person.
  • Any conditions or restrictions on the Lasting Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney or deputy order (but not specific details about them.)
  • The date the Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney was cancelled (if it has been cancelled).
  • The date the deputyship order expired or was cancelled (it has expired or been cancelled.)

Second tier search – if your first search doesn’t meet your needs

If the information you receive following a search does not meet your needs you can make a more detailed search. This is called a ‘second tier search’.

A second tier search will provide more information about the donor or the person who has a deputy acting for them than the first search. To do this you must first write to the Office of the Public Guardian with the following information:

  • the name of the donor/person the order is about.
  • The specific information you need and the reason you need it.
  • Why you have been unable to get the information from the person themselves.

You can write to the Office of the Public Guardian at this address:

Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 15118
Birmingham
B16 6GX.

The Office of the Public Guardian will consider your application before deciding whether to release more information. This will depend on things such as:

  • Your relationship to the person.
  • The information you are requesting.
  • Why you wish to access it.

You don’t have to pay an extra fee for a second tier search of the registers.

For information concerning the Office of the Public Guardian for Scotland, click here.  

Office of the Public Guardian Lasting Power of Attorney