Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
There have been calls to overhaul the process for making Lasting Powers of Attorney due to the system being criticised for being too slow and non user friendly.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a legal document which enables a person to nominate an Attorney or Attorneys to make decisions about their property and financial affairs or health and welfare. They can be made by any person over the age of 18 but have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) before they can be used.
The creation of LPA’s has always been in paper form as the law states that it must be a paper document with handwritten signatures or marks. However, an online service was created by the OPG to enable people to create their LPA’s online, print the documents and then arrange the signatures.
Under the current paper based application process, it often takes between 10-12 weeks for a LPA to be registered by the OPG. The new proposals are to make the service mostly digital (with alternatives for those unable to use the internet) and this would possibly include the signing and witnessing.
There are also reforms being suggested for families who need to set up an LPA very quickly due to a sudden change in health, which currently is not possible and to revise the safeguards in place to prevent documents from being created or used fraudulently. A three month consultation period will determine whether any changes should be made.
The OPG have also previously introduced a new digital service called ‘Use a Lasting Power of Attorney’ which went live on 17th July 2020. All LPA’s registered after that date have been eligible to make use of this service, which enables the donor and first named Attorney(s) to set up an online account to which they can link the LPA’s that concern them.
Online access to the LPA can then be granted to various institutions such as banks, companies, doctors surgeries and hospitals, thereby avoiding the need to send physical copies of the document which can cause delays.