29 August 2014 by

Staying offline – for now

Last year the Ministry of Justice proposed a number of changes to Lasting Powers of Attorney.   The headline change was making LPAs fully digital, so that the forms would be completed online and signed with an electronic signature.  Following consultation, that proposal has been shelved; perhaps an acknowledgement that an online only process would be vulnerable to fraud or misuse.

The other idea not being taken forward is combining the Financial LPA and the Health and Welfare LPA into one form.

However, other proposals to improve LPAs are being introduced from April 2015:

  • Including a section for the person making the LPA to specify when it should come into effect.
  • Simplifying the language of the forms.
  • Removing the need for a second certificate provider (currently required if no-one is to be notified when the LPA is registered).
  • Simplifying the registration forms and including them in the LPA itself. 

These changes can mainly be welcomed; anything that simplifies the process and encourages more people to set up LPAs has to be a good thing – as long as the person making the LPA continues to be safeguarded and the opportunity for fraud is kept to a minimum.

Having said that, one concern shared by many in the legal profession is that simplifying the process can lead to a sense of false security. Whilst it’s true that you don’t need a solicitor to draw up the LPAs for you, it is evident from the number of cases where LPAs are completed incorrectly or where attorneys misuse their powers that professional assistance is invaluable when setting up such an important legal document.

If you are considering setting up LPAs then contact Iain Aitken in our Wealth and Estate Planning department 020 7288 4713 iainaitken@boltburdon.co.uk to find out how we can help.

8 August 2014 by

Sledgehammers and nuts…

No one wants to go to court, but sadly it is sometimes an unavoidable necessity.  If you are unable to […]

15 August 2014 by

Do I really need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

One of the main ways in which the EU and the Government propose to tackle climate change and reduce emissions […]

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