The government has announced that they are planning to modernise the lasting power of attorney system in the UK. They will hold a three month consultation to examine how technology can be used to speed up the service. This consultation will also reform the process of witnessing and improve access. It will look at making the process of objecting to an LPA simpler. It will also introduce new safeguards to protect against fraud and abuse.
The government is also considering creating a fast-track for families who need to quickly set up an LPA for a relative who has suffered a sudden change in their health.
Under the current paper-based application process, it can take months for powers to be handed over. These changes will see the service become predominantly digital, whilst also keeping alternatives for those unable to use the internet.
Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney document (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime.
If you one day lose your mental capacity to make decisions, then someone you know, and trust, can make them for you. They are the Attorney.
To make a Lasting Power of Attorney document, you must be over 18, and have mental capacity to do so. Mental capacity is a legal term that means you understand the decisions you make, and why you are making them. Only you can put an LPA in place; someone cannot do it on your behalf. You must be able to act independently and be able to make independent decisions about what you would like to do.
There are two types of LPA. These are:
- Health and wellbeing Lasting Power of Attorney
- Property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
Health and wellbeing LPA
A health and wellbeing LPA can make decisions about your healthcare, treatments and living arrangements if you can no longer make them for yourself. For example, if you want to stay in your own home rather than moving to a care home. Then, your LPA would have the authority to ensure you can do that.
A health and wellbeing LPA is only consulted if you have lost the mental capacity to make these decisions for yourself.
Property and financial LPA
A property and financial LPA makes decisions on your financial affairs, as well as your property decisions in England and Wales. They can make decisions for you in terms of selling your property, for example.
The person or people you choose can either be attorneys if you lose mental capacity, or in a broader sense, for example, through age or an accident. You can also use them if you move out of the UK and wish for them to deal with your finances in the UK.
How We Can Help with Power of Attorney
Here at The Inheritance Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with different inheritance matters. This includes power of attorney matters. Contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138763 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.