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The Modernisation and Digitalisation of Lasting Powers of Attorney

The consultation into the modernisation of LPA’s (Lasting Powers of Attorney) was launched this week by the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Public Guardian.

The modernisation offers the opportunity to simplify the process of making and registering an LPA, but Solicitors For the Elderly (SFE) and our SFE accredited solicitors, Duncan Kennedy and Megan Jones, are concerned about a fully digitalised platform which could leave older and vulnerable people at risk of being abused.

This week, the government launched a 12-week consultation into the modernisation of 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 has been part of the stakeholder group which has assisted throughout the consultation process to provide feedback and advice and we’re glad that solicitors will be able to have their say on such an important service.

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