Power of Attorney documents have long been completed by paperwork alone and would often be subject to lengthy delays. In this article, Rose & Trust of Bristol will look at the new proposals to allow for completion entirely online.

The Powers of Attorney Act brings forward new law to allow for a quicker, and easier way to complete LPAs, and will also provide additional safeguards and security for those wishing to make a lasting power of attorney, including Identity checks on the donor (i.e the person making the application).

Around 19,000 more lasting powers of attorney applications are now being received each month than before the Covid pandemic began. Change is therefore needed and although the exact timing of the new system is still unclear it is backed by the government. On the proposals, Justice Minister Mike Freer said:

Millions of people rely on a lasting power of attorney to make sure their care and finances are taken care of should they lose mental capacity.

This Act allows us to modernise the service, introduce new safeguards from fraud and abuse and make it simpler to give people peace of mind their interests will be protected.

A huge increase in the number of registered power of attorney, now over 6 million, still require paperwork to be kept and stored for many years. Every year, the Office of the Public Guardian process over 19 million pieces of paper, all by post.

Although banks and other such institutions can make use of the digital ‘Use the LPA' service, modernisation of the whole system is seen as necessary. As Amy Holmes, the Public Guardian for England and Wales, states:

This is a significant milestone in our plans to modernise lasting powers of attorney and we are one step closer to a quicker, more secure and straightforward service.

Our focus now is on continuing to develop, test and refine a new online platform and improved paper process to ensure we provide a service that will include additional safeguards and suit the needs of all our customers.

The two types of power of attorney, Property and Affairs & Health and Welfare allow donors to nominate people they trust to help them. LPAs can provide real peace of mind and with delays now close to 20 weeks to complete registration, a quicker & simpler process would be a very positive step.

Rose & Trust of Bristol offer a fixed fee Power of Attorney service and we have many years of experience completing such documents for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out more.