Since 2021, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) have been working together to modernise the Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) system.
In what will be a real transformation for LPA procedures, parliament has now passed the Powers of Attorney Bill (the Bill) and it awaits royal assent.
Significance of the Bill
The Bill introduces some considerable, and overall positive, changes to the existing process for making and registering LPAs.
The amendments will mean a much more efficient and convenient process for creating an LPA as well as providing increased protection from fraud.
- Allowing an electronic form of LPA registration to be used as evidence of its content and fact of an LPA registration;
- Different processes and evidence to be accepted, depending on whether the LPA is made digitally, on paper or a combination of the two; and
- The introduction of identification verification requirements when applying to register an LPA – if the ID requirements are not met, the OPG will not be permitted to register the LPA.
The move from a solely paper-based system for making and registering an LPA to one that will also permit digital evidence is significant. Currently, the system requires LPAs to be a paper document with handwritten signatures or marks that have been witnessed – this can lead to a lengthy and complex process.
Modernisation of the system and the recognition of electronic versions of LPAs, should considerably cut the time it takes to process an LPA. Waiting times will be reduced by identifying and fixing any errors earlier on – giving reassurance that granting an LPA can be a user-friendly experience and not one where individuals are subjected to lengthy wait times.
There is no date for when the Bill will come into force, however the OPG is already working on the design of the digital LPA system.
How M+A Partners can help
Lasting Powers of Attorney complements the range of life planning services M+A Partners provides to help clients and their families prepare for the future.
An LPA enables you to select the people you trust to make decisions on your behalf and act in your best interests when you may not be able to make these decisions yourself, through illness or loss of capacity.
For more information on LPAs please get in touch with our experts or download our factsheet below.