News In Focus
OPG to test online power of attorney submission
An electronic facility for the submission of powers of attorney and an integrated payment function is currently under development between the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and its IT partner, Amor Business Solutions.
It is hoped to begin field testing shortly on the facility, referred to as "EPOAR" (Electronic Power of Attorney Registration). The system will allow solicitors and lay people alike to upload power of attorney deeds in PDF format for transmission to the OPG, along with electronically completed data akin to the information recorded on the current registration form. The OPG fee will be paid by credit or debit card through a secure online payment gateway.
While OPG hopes that the majority of customers will use EPOAR, the service will be optional and not mandatory. The fee will be £70 per submission whether by electronic or clerical means.
Data input by the end-user will automatically populate the registration area of the Public Guardian’s bespoke computer system, speeding up processing time. OPG staff will continue to check the power of attorney deed to help ensure that it meets statutory registration requirements, but there will be no formalised check of the data input by the end-user.
Certificates of registration and accompanying documentation will be returned to the sender in electronic format. Copy documents for the granter and where appropriate, specified persons, will be sent either electronically or in hard copy, whichever format is preferred.
OPG acknowledges its indebtedness to legal firm Blackadders for its "immeasurable assistance" in helping to develop the product.
Further updates will be posted to the news section of the Public Guardian’s website and reported on the Journal’s online news page. This will include information on a series of national events, likely to be through the spring and early summer, at which more detail of the service will be provided, along with other relevant matters.