Sumary of Lasting power of attorney could go digital to make it easier to set up:
- A simpler and quicker system to set up power of attorney could be on the way, but experts warn it must include safeguards against abuse of older and vulnerable people.
- Lasting power of attorney is a legal failsafe that allows people to appoint someone they trust, usually a family member or friend, to take control of their affairs if they fall ill.
- The Government is consulting on proposals to modernise the process, including a fast-track to grant LPAs to those who need them urgently, removing the requirement for a witness, and a digital checking service.
- Legal protection: Lasting power of attorney lets loved ones take control of your affairs if you fall illRegistrations of LPAs have surged in recent years to cover around five million people, but this still involves paperwork under a system that originated more than 30 years ago.
- Legal and financial experts have welcomed the overhaul, but say going fully digital could mean more people are targeted for fraud or coercion, and point out some of the elderly do not have access to a computer or smartphone.
- Justice Minister Alex Chalke says: ‘An LPA is not just a piece of paper.
- They’re based on known and trusted paper-based social conventions, such as signing and witnessing.
- ‘However, the world is changing and people increasingly want to access services digitally.