September 5, 2023

Lasting powers of attorney (LPA) are being modernised

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets someone (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (attorney’s) to help them make decisions or to make decisions on their behalf.

The LPA was introduced in 2007. It was designed to provide more flexibility than its predecessor, the enduring power of attorney (EPA), and additional protections. However, the LPA kept many of the paper-based features and protections of the EPAs In its essence, the LPAs are over 35 years old.

The protections in the current paper-based system are founded on decades, if not centuries, of tradition, case law and social conventions, such as signing and witnessing.

As the world is changing, digital methods have transformed the way that many people think, act and want to act. They’re increasingly requesting digital access to all sorts of services from banking to grocery shopping. This extends to services provided by the government, such as tax returns and passport renewal

Digital channels provide many more opportunities to improve access and speed of service, but they also require us to think anew about the safeguards that are put in place in such systems.

The Ministry of Justice and the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) have begun work on a project to modernise lasting powers of attorney (MLPA).

The MLPA project aims to:

- increase safeguards for the donor

- improve the process of making and registering a lasting power of attorney (LPA), for donors, attorneys and third parties

- achieve sustainability for OPG whilst keeping LPAs as affordable for all people in society.

Workshops to carry out further user research and engage with stakeholder groups and the public are taking place. Karl Taylor, our Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate has been invited to attend one of these Workshops. This approach will allow for a wide range of evidence and experiences to be collected and inform about changes needed to build a future service fit for purpose and meet user needs.

For help and advice with regards to Wills, Trusts, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate and Estate Planning contact Karl Taylor or phone 0114 276 6166.