What You Need To Know About The LPA Reforms?

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To help modernise the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) system, the Government has made the decision to make the process fully virtual. The Government says the reforms will improve safeguards to protect vulnerable people.

Here you can find out more about what exactly an LPA is, why it’s being reformed, and some of the concerns with the reforms.

What is an LPA?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document that enables you to choose a person to act on your behalf, should you ever lose your mental capacity. These people are called your ‘attorneys’.

What is an LPA

There are two types of LPAs to consider:

  • Health & Welfare: This enables your attorney(s) to make decisions in your best interest regarding factors that affect your health and safety, such as decisions regarding medication and medical procedures, your daily routine, and where you live.
  • Property & Financial Affairs: This enables your attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf and in your best interest regarding your finances, including your bills, money, pensions, crypto tax, property, and any investments you may have.

When it comes to thinking about your LPA, it’s always recommended that you speak to a specialist solicitor to help you through the process.

What are the LPA reforms, and why were they introduced?

Under the Government’s proposals, people will be able to execute and register an LPA entirely online, much like other government services. The current paper-based system used for LPAs will continue to operate, to allow people to make the choice that best suits them and their needs.

Some of the changes and reforms have not been disclosed yet, but there are some changes that have already been made public knowledge.

What are the LPA reforms, and why were they introduced

These include:

  • Updated identification checks for the verification process. The application will require official documents like passports and driving licences. This has been implemented to reduce fraud and assist in safeguarding.
  • The online system will detect errors quickly. This in turn will speed up the process.
  • Reduction in waiting time – currently the time period for an LPA to be registered can be over 20 weeks – the online system aims to reduce this.
  • The Government is to provide further guidance on the certificate provider’s role when it comes to confirming their understanding of LPAs.

Bonnie Dutton from Black Norman Solicitors says the reforms have their benefits, but there are some safeguarding issues to consider.

“Amongst other improvements, the digitalisation of the LPA process will speed up the procedure for donors and make matters easier for attorneys living abroad or away from the donor.

“Although these measures are imperative in modernising the process, we cannot ignore that any legal document that can be drafted, executed and registered entirely online could lead to substantial safeguarding issues for vulnerable people.”

Many solicitors and legal professionals worry that vulnerable people could be taken advantage of with the online process.

To help keep your personal and financial interests safe, it is always advised to speak to a solicitor that specialises in LPAs, so that you have knowledge and reassurance that your interests are being protected throughout the process of appointing your attorney(s) executing and registering your LPA.

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