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Lasting Power of Attorney goes digital

More than 4 million of us have made a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

But what happens when you need to enact yours? How can you ensure it gets put into use quickly and effectively? Steve Wright, our Head of Estates, shares some important news about a new online service.

An LPA is an important document allowing you to appoint a close friend, family member or a professional to deal with your affairs should you become unable to do so. This might be in the event of an illness or injury, or if you become incapacitated.

The challenge has always been ensuring that these important documents are put into use quickly as soon as they are needed. This is especially true given that financial institutions are strictly regulated and will not release information to a third party without proper authorisation. Until now it was likely that your nominated ‘attorney’ would have had to present the relevant LPA in a bank branch or send a certified copy by post to be verified. This can be a lengthy process, and the situation is made even more difficult given the current restrictions created by the pandemic.

Thankfully, in July the UK Government launched a new service allowing LPAs to be viewed online. The service allows relevant organisations, including banks, government agencies and HMRC to view an LPA online, knowing that it is a genuine document. The aim is to help speed things up if you or a family member is incapacitated and need your appointed attorney to act on your behalf. It works by creating a secure access code for your LPA which can be shared with any third party organisations.

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At the moment, any LPAs which were registered on or after 17 July 2020 can be accessed using the online service. The Government is planning to open up the new service for LPAs registered earlier in 2020 and 2019, although no definite date for this has been set.

Nevertheless, this is a very welcome step, and will help ensure the continued relevance of LPAs into the future.

At the moment, any LPAs which were registered on or after 17 July 2020 can be accessed using the online service. The Government is planning to open up the new service for LPAs registered earlier in 2020 and 2019, although no definite date for this has been set.

Nevertheless, this is a very welcome step, and will help ensure the continued relevance of LPAs into the future.

With many of us living longer and an increase in conditions such as dementia, LPAs have become more commonly used, and can be extremely helpful if you become incapacitated. To discuss making your own LPA please contact your nearest office.