Recently, the government launched a 12-week consultation into the modernisation of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s). An LPA is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions about your finances, health, and care for you should you lose mental capacity. The consultation aims to examine the process of creating and registering an LPA, with a view to modernise this with a new digital system.
Modernising the process could offer a more simplified and user-friendly platform. It could also make creating an LPA more affordable and encourage more people to consider making one. However, simplifying the process also carries greater risks, including making mistakes in your application, abuse of power and fraud. You should always speak with an experienced lawyer who will be able to understand your circumstances and ensure that your LPA is well drafted, clearly setting out what you want and will be approved.
Digitalisation is happening worldwide and offers a fantastic opportunity to improve many legal services, but a fully digitalised platform could mean more older and vulnerable people being targeted for fraud, coerced or abused. The new system must offer appropriate safeguarding measures to ensure people are protected when making life changing decisions.
SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) has been part of the stakeholder group which has assisted throughout the consultation process to provide feedback and advice and they are glad that solicitors will be able to have their say on such an important service.
Marie Granby is a Solicitor at Maxwell Hodge, Heswall and a member of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), the membership organisation for specialist solicitors who support older and vulnerable people.