A new online service has been launched to improve Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) and better safeguard a loved ones’ finances.
The online tool will enable attorneys to contact banks and healthcare providers more easily in a move away from the paper-based system which can delay important decisions.
However, it will still maintain safeguards to ensure elderly and vulnerable people are protected from abuse.
Stone King’s Private Client Team, which has vast experience in helping clients to manage their affairs, as well as helping attorneys to carry out their roles, has welcomed the online initiative.
Kathryn Layzell, Head of the Trusts & Estates Team, said the online facility is currently only available to new registrations.
She said the team is well-placed to help both clients and attorneys and guide them through the new process.
“Whenever someone is acting as attorney for someone else, they have to register a certified copy of the power of attorney with the various financial (and other) institutions that the donor (person who made the power of attorney) uses,” she explained.
“Usually this is quite an involved process, getting numerous certified copies of the documents, posting them off etc so the idea here is that they will be given a code which the institutions can use to verify the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian direct so a lot of the admin burden will be lifted.”
The new system will allow those acting as an attorney to provide a secure code, which when submitted to the online portal will nearly instantaneously confirm their status as an attorney and the power they hold – authorising them to take actions on their loved ones’ behalf.
A LPA is a legal document which allows people to appoint someone else (an attorney) to make decisions about their welfare, money or property. They are often used by older people to choose someone they know and trust to make decisions for them were they to lose capacity in the future - but can be used by anyone at any age. The number of registered LPAs has increased drastically in recent years to more than 4 million, with many taking the important step to plan for the future.
Details of the new facility can be read in full here. For further advice and guidance please contact Kathryn Layzell