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Government's plan to modernise lasting powers of attorney

View profile for Leah Woodnott
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The government has recently announced that they are looking to make changes to the ways lasting powers of attorney are created. 

What are lasting powers of attorney?

Lasting powers of attorney, or LPAs, are legal documents that allow you, as the “donor”, to appoint people, such as your family or friends, as your “attorneys”. There are two types of lasting powers of attorney. One covers your property and financial affairs and the other covers your health and welfare. Your attorneys can then make decisions regarding these aspects if, for example, you have lost mental capacity. 

Lasting powers of attorney application process

Currently, the application process is paper-based. The donor and attorneys have to physically put wet signatures on the documents and submit the original completed forms to the Office of the Public Guardian to be registered.  
There have been concerns raised that the current application process is outdated and the room for errors on the applications is very high. The signing procedure is very strict. The government is currently reviewing proposals for paper-based applications to be replaced with digital applications. This will speed up the signing process and reduce the number of errors on applications where the signing process has not been completed correctly.  
If the proposed new application structure comes into effect, then it is hoped that the time to receive back the registered lasting powers of attorney from the Office of the Public Guardian will be reduced. This will be comforting to families who need to use the documents as soon as possible to gain access to the donor’s funds etc. 
There will still be the opportunity to complete paper-based applications if a donor does not have access to internet facilities. This means that lasting powers of attorney will still be accessible to everyone to put in place. 
If you would like to create or amend your lasting powers of attorney, then please contact one of our lasting powers of attorney specialists. I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217609 or