What Is the Modernisation of Lasting Powers of Attorney?
If a will is used to settle a person’s estate after death, what legal arrangement can a person use to protect their finances while still living but incapable of making sound decisions on their own? This is where a lasting power of attorney (LPA) may come into play. A lasting power of attorney is essentially a legal document that allows you to appoint a person to manage your affairs and make decisions on your behalf.
With the rising number of people realising the necessity of an LPA, it seems that the legal sector is facing many challenges as of late. Because of this phenomenon, the need for changes in how LPAs are filed and processed seems apparent. Let’s take a look at what these changes are and how they will affect LPAs in the future.
The Challenges of Registering LPAs
For many years, the process of registering LPAs has been pretty much the same. Like any other legal process, it can be quite complicated and time-consuming. For an LPA to be fully registered, there’s a need to ensure that the donor, the attorney, and the certificate provider all sing their respective pages in the correct way and in the presence of a suitable witness. It’s also worth noting that this process of signing should be done in the correct order. Failure to follow the existing process often results in a rejection from the OPG, which is not always communicated quickly.
As mentioned above, more and more people are applying to register for an LPA to the point that there have been many delays in the registration process due to the overwhelming number of them. With the way the system works and the registration process is right now, there’s currently no way to expedite the process of registering an LPA even when it is urgently needed.
Modernisation of LPAs
In the middle of 2021, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has been collaborating with the Office of the Public Guardian in an effort to modernise the process of making and registering LPAs. With the rise in popularity of LPAs, individuals are increasingly realising the necessity of it to support friends and family in the unfortunate event of a loss of capacity. This is further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the complications it brought to the public health and financial sector.
Since the current paper-based system of applying and registering LPAs proved to be quite cumbersome and complicated, it needs to be overhauled to make the process more streamlined and efficient.
What Are the Changes Being Proposed to Modernise LPAs?
The collaboration between the MoJ and the OPG signals big changes in the processing of LPAs. Generally speaking, the overarching objectives of the modernisation project are as follows:
- Increasing safeguards, especially for the donor.
- Improving the process of making and registering an LPA for donors, attorneys, and third parties.
- Achieving sustainability for the OPG while keeping LPAs as affordable as possible for those interested in making one.
Those three goals for the modernisation of LPAs will continue to shape whatever changes are being planned for it. While there’s still ongoing discussion about it, soon LPAs will be subjected to these drastic changes that are for the best.
Wills and Probate is here to help and inform you on the most important decisions you make in life and beyond it. Whether you need help with inheritance tax, lasting power of attorney, or setting up a trust, our team of legal professionals are here to assist you. It’s never too early to plan your future, so you better start doing it today. Contact us to set up a free consultation.