On the 17th July the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) unveiled their new digital ‘Use a lasting power of attorney’ tool.
It is designed to make it easier for the family members and friends who have been given Lasting Power of Attorney to increase the speed at which they can make vital decisions relating to property, care arrangements and finances and make it easier for them to deal with banks, care providers and local authorities.
The new system provides those acting as an attorney with a secure code. Once that code is entered the user’s status as the recognised attorney will be confirmed. They can then do what they need to, bypassing the need to request, complete and submit the current hard copy documents.
The new service is the first major step the OPG has made towards achieving their objective of making better use of technology. By allowing the 4 million people who have now been trusted with Lasting Power of Attorney to act more quickly and more easily online it is widely felt they will be able to manage their loved one’s affairs far more effectively and free from the traditional paper-based delays.
Just as importantly the system also adds an extra layer of security for the vulnerable. As there are stringent identity checks built into the tool, it will further reduce the likelihood of decisions being taken by unauthorised persons.
The launch has been praised by the Justice Minister, Alex Chalk:
“This new innovative system will make a real and positive difference to people dealing with what can be an emotional and difficult process. It is just the latest example of the way we are using technology throughout the justice system to create better, more effective services for the public.”
The OPG have also been quick to reassure users that the system has also been rigorously tested by a number of key stakeholders including the Department for Work and Pensions and HSBC. The result of these tests is that everyone involved was not only satisfied the system works but are also that it will be massively helpful as we battle through the current restrictions being imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.