The Government has launched a consultation over proposed changes to the services of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in England and Wales. The proposals include a new secure online facility for Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).
An LPA is a legal document which allows people to appoint someone else 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 people taking out an LPA has increased significantly in recent years in England and Wales, with 152,335 registered in 2010/11 and 182,567 in 2011/12.
The consultation on the proposals will run until 19th October 2012. It seeks views on how the OPG can transform its business, including:
- The forms and application process for Lasting Powers of Attorney
- The language used to explain legal responsibilities
- The role of certificate providers
- The process for registering Lasting Powers of Attorney
- The role of named persons
- How confirmation is given that a Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered
- The statutory waiting period for Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Supervision of deputies
- Changing security bond provider
- Online payment of fees
- Access to registers
- Providing an ‘Assisted Digital’ service.