OPG Launch New Public Online LPA Search Facility

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has issued a practice note providing information on a new online facility for members of the public to search its registers to find out if a person in England or Wales has an attorney or court-appointed deputy acting for them.

The practice note, PN11, highlights that the Public Guardian maintains registers of lasting power of attorneys (LPAs), enduring power of attorneys (EPAs) and court orders that have appointed deputies (deputyship orders).

Currently, it is free to request a search be carried out. The public and relevant public authorities that make a request must ensure that they specify which register they want to search, their name and contact details and the name, date of birth and address of the person they would like to search. If any of this information is incomplete, the search will be returned to the sender. No request will be made unless the third section of the OPG100 search form is complete.

The OPG are also willing to disclose additional information alongside the provision of LPA, EPA or deputy details. They consider this information to be anything related to a person that the OPG have obtained whilst carrying out their work, that may not appear on the registers.

Although the OPG aim to return the requests within five working days, they will prioritise searches requested by public authorities as these may help with crucial safeguarding issues.

The Public Guardian has claimed that its registers hold information on the following information:

  • the name of the person the power of attorney or deputyship order is about
  • the date of birth of the person the power of attorney or deputyship order is about
  • whether the register entry relates to an LPA, EPA or deputyship order
  • whether the LPA, EPA or deputyship order relates to property and financial affairs or health and welfare
  • the date the LPA, EPA or deputyship order was registered
  • whether an LPA, EPA or deputyship is registered, cancelled, revoked or expired
  • the names of attorneys (people appointed under an LPA or EPA) or deputies (people appointed by the court)
  • whether there are conditions or restrictions in the LPA, EPA or deputyship order – these will not be disclosed but we will tell an applicant if they exist
  • how attorneys or deputies are appointed to act
  • when deputyship orders expire, if this has been stated by a judge

How will these searches help the Wills and Estate Planning sector?

Click here for more information.