By updating the process to an online service, it is hoped that will make the production of POAs much faster, simpler, and most importantly, more secure by enhancing the existing safeguards to help prevent against fraud and abuse. A more streamlined paper process will also be introduced for individuals who are unable to access the internet.
The key issue from a legal perspective is the proposed measures to prevent fraud and abuse. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) are to receive ID documents upfront from the proposed attorneys, the person making the power of attorney (the donor) and the certificate provider (who confirms capacity) so they confirm and hopefully verify the suitability of each party.
The OPG will also only accept Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) for registration that have been submitted by the donor and the process for streamlining objections will also be implemented.
Whilst these measures sound promising, previous measures to enhance safeguarding have been unsuccessful, so we will have to wait and see. Understandably, there are concerns about donors being coerced into making LPAs or LPAs being prepared fraudulently on the basis that they can be made online and that process cannot be effectively scrutinised.
If you want to delve deeper into the importance of creating Lasting Powers of Attorney, what they entail, and how they can be utilized, our article "If it can happen to Bruce Willis, it can happen to anyone – the need to plan" provides more information.
Further clarification regarding the new processes is expected, so stay tuned for more information in the upcoming months as the Moore & Tibbits team eagerly awaits the progress.
If you would like to create a Lasting Power of Attorney or have any questions, please contact Sharon Edwards on 01926 354704 or email: SharonE@moore-tibbits.co.uk.