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The government has launched a consultation designed to “modernise” the lasting power of attorney (LPA) process.
The 12-week consultation will not only look at how LPAs are created and registered, but will also consider how best to prevent fraud while introducing a predominantly digital service.
Nick Goodwin, Public Guardian for England and Wales, said: “More people are taking the vital step to plan for the future by applying for lasting powers of attorney, and we want to make sure that it is as safe and simple as possible to do so.
“This consultation puts forward proposals which will allow us to make the service fit for the modern world – one that can be accessed online, and which grants the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) the power to conduct thorough checks to protect against fraud while making it easier for people to raise concerns.”
Mr Goodwin added that the process would look at how technology could be used to reform the witnessing process and to speed up the service.
An LPA is a legal document which allows a person (the donor) to appoint someone else (an attorney) to make decisions about their welfare, money or property.
Last year OPG launched a new digital service called “Use a lasting power of attorney”. Solicitors have previously expressed their concern about possible security issues linked to digitisation.
The consultation to modernise lasting power of attorney runs until 13 October. To view the full proposals and respond, click here.
Any substantial changes will require amendments to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which brought in the current system. Lasting power of attorney was introduced in 2007 as part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This replaced the previous system of Enduring Power of Attorney that had been in place since 1986.