Our Lifetime Planning and Wills Team are available on 01225 462871. You can also contact them by completing the form at the foot of this page.
LPAs provide a much safer mechanism for delegating responsibility to third parties than their predecessor. But a government-backed private member’s Bill with cross-party sponsorship now seeks to make the LPA system “quicker to use, easier to access and even more secure from fraud.”
The government points out that although registered LPAs have recently increased dramatically in number to more than 6 million, the LPA process retains many dated paper-based features.
Lasting Power of Attorney Bill
One of the main changes proposed by the Lasting Power of Attorney Bill is a new online process for making LPAs. However, as this increases the scope for identity fraud, the Bill will additionally see the introduction of identity checks on:
- the donor (the person making the LPA); and
- the certificate provider (the person countersigning the document confirming the donor understands what they are signing).
The identity checks will require official documents such as a passport, driving licence, or a Government Gateway account.
The current paper-based system will remain, allowing donors to choose the process that best suits their requirements.
Notification of registration
An LPA does not have effect until registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). And as a safeguard, the donor can choose up to five people to notify on registration of the LPA. Under the proposed new rules, the OPG will send notices to these people explaining how they should raise any concerns.
Paper LPAs are lengthy, and if changes are required (for example, on the death of an attorney), the OPG requires the return of the document for updating. However, the new proposals provide for the registration of LPAs as electronic documents accessible by third parties. So, the OPG will not require the return of the paper version.
As the registration of LPAs is currently taking more than four months, a move to electronic registration is very welcome.