Major Reforms to Lasting Power of Attorney System
The Plans to Reduce LPA Fraud and Improve Efficiency
On July 20th, the government announced a 12-week consultation which has been launched to assess the current process required to register a Lasting Power of Attorney in the UK. The current system has been in place for more than 30 years, and relies on slow, paper-based methods of registration, thus highlighting the need for change.
Those seeking lasting power of attorney legal advice will be relieved to hear about the upcoming modifications to the LPA process.
Understanding the need for lasting power of attorney
None of us knows what the future holds in terms of our health and wellbeing. If your health declines due to a diagnosis or sudden accident, then you can gain peace of mind that your best interests are taken care of. By appointing one or more attorneys, you can be confident that someone you trust is able to make decisions on your behalf. These can relate to Property & Financial Affairs or Health & Welfare depending on the type of LPA you choose. It’s possible to register just a single LPA or both; you may discuss the best option for you with your lasting power of attorney solicitors.
What technical changes are being proposed?
Office administration has changed significantly over the past three decades, so the current paper-based methods of registration are incredibly outdated. As you might expect, the consultation aims to improve the efficiency of the system by relying more on the latest technology. The proposals will examine how moving to a digital platform can reform the processes involved in witnessing, along with access and the general speed of the service.
Currently, LPA solicitors who file a registration on behalf of their client can expect to wait up to 12 weeks for their lasting power of attorney documents to be approved. In today’s society, this is seen as being an unreasonable period of time, especially with the pressures of the pandemic. In fact, the consultation also proposes a fast-track system for families to get their LPAs registered when a family member has suffered a sudden change in their health.
Enhanced protection for clients
The Office of the Public Guardian is also set to receive additional powers that aim to prevent fraud and abuse from occurring during LPA registration. The OPG will be given the authority to carry out extensive checks, whilst there will be provision to make it easier for people to raise objections to an LPA registration if they have concerns.
Gain Lasting Power of Attorney Advice
The consultation is already open and will run until the 13th October, 2021. If you would like to gain legal advice on lasting power of attorney, either for yourself or on behalf of a loved one, then Hook & Partners are available to assist in this sensitive area of law. Please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 01268 692 255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.