The Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) has announced changes it is rolling out to practice from next Monday, 24 October. 

These include:

1. OPG stops observations to the sheriff court in welfare only applications

As of 24 October 2016, OPG will no longer make observations to the court when an application is made for a welfare guardianship or welfare intervention order. This means that solicitor applicants will no longer receive a letter from OPG prior to the hearing date.

Observations for combined welfare and financial applications will continue to be made by OPG. Solicitor applicants will be provided with a copy letter outlining any observations.

2. Change to the look of registered PoAs and copy documents

From 24 October 2016, the manually produced Power of Attorney (PoA) certificate of registration issued by OPG will no longer be bound in a heat-sealed wallet. OPG says the process of binding approximately 35,000 PoAs each year is both time consuming and resource intensive. Given the volumes of PoAs being submitted for registration and resource constraints, OPG have concluded that the current process is not sustainable. The certificate will look the same otherwise.

In a similar vein, the PoA copy documents issued to the granter and specified person will no longer be embossed.

3. EPOAR – paper copies to stop

For those using the EPOAR facility, from 21 November 2016 OPG will not issue paper copies of registered PoA documents to granters and specified persons.

OPG advises that all copies will be sent out electronically by email. If no email address is available the sender’s email address must be supplied instead, meaning they will be required to provide the copy to a granter or specified person. This copy will not need to be certified as it is for information purposes only.

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