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Modernising the Lasting Power of Attorney process – how it could affect you

Modernising the Lasting Power of Attorney process – how it could affect you

Modernising the Lasting Power of Attorney process – how it could affect you

Important changes to speed up and improve the Lasting Power of Attorney application and registration process are at last on the way.

As specialists in this area of the law, we welcome these developments which should streamline the system, make it more user-friendly and substantially reduce the risk of fraud.

However, with no implementation date yet announced, it’s important not to wait until these amendments become law.

We can talk you through what you need to do, today, to get the ball rolling to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

What exactly is an LPA?

Arguably, as important a legal document as a Will, an LPA allows you to delegate wide-ranging powers to a nominated person if you lose the mental capacity to make these decisions yourself.

There are two types – one covering financial and property affairs and the other health and welfare, including end of life care.

The number of LPA registrations has never been higher – more than 200,000 in July to September 2022, that’s 19,000 up on the same period in 2021.

Yet there are thousands of applications stuck in a backlog with LPAs currently taking a snail-like 20 weeks to process.

What problems is the new LPA legislation trying to solve?

At the moment, making and registering an LPA is a largely paper-based process which can leave vulnerable people at risk of fraud.

It’s also incredibly slow at a time when people who may be in failing health want something in place as soon as possible. An LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.

What are the main changes to the LPA system?

The drive for change comes after consultation with a number of expert organisations including the Law Society, Age Concern, Alzheimer’s Society and Solicitors for the Elderly, of which most of our Wills, Probate and Mental Capacity lawyers are members.

The most important changes include:

  • Making it possible to make an LPA entirely online. The paper route will continue to operate alongside this for those who need it.
  • Speeding up the process by moving to a digital system which should help reduce the ever growing backlog and make spotting errors at an earlier stage easier.
  • Reducing the chance of identity fraud with new ID checks and a strengthened verification process to protect vulnerable people from abuse and fraud. Everyone involved will have to prove they are who they say.
  • Providing a new single route for all objections to an LPA – there are currently different routes for different people. This will make it much easier to register a concern.
  • Establishing a single central source for LPAs by registering them as electronic documents.

Although we don’t know yet when these changes will become law, the government is said to be in support of the Powers of Attorney bill which has now had its second reading in the House of Commons.

Get in touch

Wards Solicitors wins high praise in the 2023 edition of the independent Legal 500 guide of outstanding legal professionals for its exceptional professional service standards and high levels of technical expertise.

Our Wills, Probate and Mental Capacity Team has extensive and specialist experience in how to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney.

We offer a free initial appointment for you to discuss what you need and always provide clear cost details up front before starting any work.

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