The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) recently launched a 12-week consultation on how to modernise Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).
The joint ambition is to improve the process of making and registering LPAs with a particular focus on use of digital technologies. This sounds like a sensible aim - both clients and professionals will attest to the challenges posed by the lengthy LPA forms and the challenges of dealing with the OPG.
The consultation document details seven proposals, including:
- replacing the witness function by using encrypted data to capture donor and attorney information.
- checking LPAs digitally as they are being made, to reduce the chance of rejection by the OPG later.
- clarifying and streamlining the objection process to help reduce the time it takes to create and register the LPA.
Many professionals will remember with some affection the short and easy to prepare Enduring Powers of Attorney which were replaced in 2007 by LPAs. LPAs were to be more flexible and provide more safeguards against abuse. Perhaps the consultation can find some middle ground combining the best features of both systems together with the application of modern technology.
We will submit our professional feedback on the proposals as part of the consultation, but in the meantime if you have any questions on LPAs or any of the topics raised in this article, please do get in touch with your usual Burges Salmon contact.
Justice Minister, Alex Chalk MP, said: A lasting power of attorney provides comfort and security to millions of people as they plan for old age. These changes will make the service quicker to use, easy to access and even more secure from fraud.