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OPG update

21 January 19

From the Office of the Public Guardian: PoA jurisdiction check; revised PoAs and EPOAR; EPOAR expedited requests; PoA rejection rates; Marsh bonds of caution

PoA jurisdiction check to come in

Early in 2019, OPG will be adding a new check to its registration process to ensure that powers of attorney submitted under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 are made in the correct jurisdiction. 

OPG will be updating EPOAR and the registration form for postal submissions
to include four statements relating to
the granter:

  • The granter lives in Scotland.
  • The granter has property in Scotland (e.g. a house, bank account etc).
  • The granter does not normally live in Scotland and it is a matter of urgency to submit the power of attorney (PoA) for registration in Scotland.
  • The granter is present in Scotland and the PoA is needed on a temporary basis to make decisions limited to, and within, Scotland.

The statement that applies to the granter must be identified to allow OPG to check that the PoA is submitted within the correct jurisdiction.

Check the OPG web news page and Twitter feed @OPGScotland for updates on this change.

Revised PoAs and EPOAR

When revoking a PoA and opting to use EPOAR to submit a fresh PoA, users are reminded of the following steps to ensure swift processing:

  • submit the PoA via EPOAR;
  • pay the registration fee;
  • email opg@scotcourts.gov.uk to advise that a PoA currently exists.

OPG asks that EPOAR users ensure they follow these steps, to help avoid the situation where the granter
is not covered by any appointment, i.e. if the previous PoA is revoked before the new PoA is registered. 

It is important that the new PoA is received timeously with the revocation to be guaranteed of the five working day processing target, otherwise the documentation could be treated as a new submission and processed within the general 30 working days target. 

EPOAR expedited requests

OPG provides an application form which must be used for all requests to expedite the registration of a PoA. To use the EPOAR expedited service please follow these steps:

  • submit the PoA via EPOAR;
  • pay the registration fee;
  • email your application form to expedite the PoA to opg@scotcourts.gov.uk 

Solicitors should only email EPOAR expedite requests when they are aware that payment has been made by their cash office. If the above steps are not followed it causes additional work for all concerned. 

POA rejection rates

The numbers of PoAs that do not meet registration criteria continue to concern OPG: 13.8% of PoAs were rejected between April and October 2018. Re-submitted PoAs add to the current volume of work and contribute to the waiting time to process PoAs. 

The top three reasons for rejection relate to the completion of the schedule 1 certificate of capacity. With EPOAR applications, the granter’s name is incorrect or the input does not match the name in the PoA document or certificate etc; substitute attorneys are not inputted in EPOAR but named in the PoA document; or there are issues with the scanned document, e.g. it is incorrect or incomplete. With postal applications, most commonly there are incorrect or missing dates in the PoA document and certificate; names are incorrect or inconsistent in the PoA and do not match those on the certificate; or the certificate is not completed properly (missing names, sections 3 and 5 not completed, missing signatures etc).

Refer to the OPG website and the most common reasons for rejecting a PoA.

Marsh bonds of caution 

OPG has an arrangement with Marsh to provide affordable and easy to arrange bonds of caution. Marsh has recently improved its scheme by providing an online facility as an alternative way to buy new bonds of caution. The improved scheme also offers higher professional indemnity limits. Click here for further details. 

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