19 December 2022
OPG – Notification of Death Update
Author: Holly Chantler
We have been sent the following by the OPG which they are happy for us to share with you:
Following a review of how we process death notifications internally, we’ve managed to simplify the process for our customers. This means our current practice note is being revised and is due to be published in January 2023. This review is in preparation for our future digitisation programme.
Here’s a summary of changes to the practice note and our processes:
1. We now use a system called ‘Life Events Verification’ (LEV). This is a safe and confidential way for us to verify if someone has died. This means in most cases there won’t be a need to send in proof of death. There may be very few occasions where we request proof of death, and this will be because either we can’t verify it on LEV, or the person has died outside of England and Wales. Previously, we requested proof of death for every death notification.
2. Our list of acceptable evidence for proving a death has been updated. Evidence will only be needed if we request proof of death. A letter or email from a solicitor notifying us someone has died is sufficient proof of death.
3. For lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) and enduring powers of attorney (EPAs) where the donor has died or where an attorney has died meaning the LPA or EPA can no longer be used, the original documents must be sent into us so we can update our internal systems. However, we will now confidentially dispose of them instead of returning them. Should you need the documents returned, include this request in the covering letter when you send the LPAs and EPAs to us for cancellation.
4. For deputyships, on the death of P, if there’s an ongoing court application, the Court of Protection (CoP) must be notified by the deputy. If the deputy has died, the CoP must be notified in all cases by a personal representative.
5. Should the death of a deputy leave the donor unprotected, OPG will not apply to the CoP to apply for a new deputy to be appointed as we have no jurisdiction to do this. Instead, we will contact the local authority who should take this forward.
6. The practice note now includes what to do when a guardian or missing person dies which is similar to how we process deaths for deputyships.
These changes have been based on our internal policy which are in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and The Lasting Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Public Guardian Regulations 2007.
There are also great benefits to our customers like yourselves. There is now no longer a need to send in proof of death (unless requested), and there won’t be a need to find a way of disposing of the LPA or EPA as we will do that for you.
We have been using LEV for the past few months now, but all other changes will come into place from January. The practice note is expected to be published on Gov.UK in January 2023.
If you have any comments ofr feedback on the above, please let us know at The PDF: firstname.lastname@example.org