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Urgent Need for Modernisation of The Lasting Power of Attorney System

Sep 6, 2022 | LPA

With the current Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) system over thirty years old, the government’s consultation on reforming the process has been welcomed by many who are concerned about protecting those who may lose the capacity to manage their own affairs.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows an individual to give their trusted representative, usually a relative or close friend, the authority to make decisions on their behalf. If the person who signed the power one day loses the ability to deal with matters, their attorney can step in to do this on their behalf.
The Lasting Power of Attorney system is currently paper-based, with individuals reporting that the system has been difficult to navigate and that some banks are reluctant to accept Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney

Consumer organisation Which conducted a survey of 2,000 individuals in November 2021, finding a lack of understanding of the system as well as difficulties in using it.
While 85% of those questioned said they knew what a Lasting Power of Attorney was, many of these were confused as to exactly what signing an LPA meant.
Some 16% thought that once an LPA is registered, access to bank accounts is lost by the person who has made the LPA. A substantial 70% said that they did not need an LPA as they were healthy, possibly not realising that once capacity has been lost, it is too late to sign.
More than three quarters (77%) thought that an LPA could be signed at any time of life, again, taking the risk that they would not have one in place should it ever be needed.
Among younger people, there was even less understanding, with 26% of those aged 18-34 saying they did not know what an LPA was while amongst those aged over 55, only 7% did not know.
Of those earning under £21,000 per year, 20% did not know what the document was, but for earners making over £56,000, only 10% did not know.

Difficulties with banks

Which has also uncovered difficulties in dealing with banks. Over 8,000 Which members with a registered LPA were questioned, with 60% saying that there was a lack of knowledge among bank staff. Some 38% said the process was complex and 28% experienced delays.
Of those questioned, 31% said that banks were the most difficult to deal with, with many reporting that banks had lost LPA documents, had not properly explained the registration process or had insisted on unnecessary trips to a branch.
Some banks failed to give full access to attorneys, even after the registration process had been completed.

Lasting Power of Attorney reform

Reforms proposed include introducing a fast-track service, digitising the registration process and increasing awareness of the system.
The government hopes to improve access and increase safeguards. Services will go online, but it is still proposed to maintain a paper option, which is likely to benefit people with brain injuries, those in care homes or those with degenerative cognitive conditions. This could also be important for the estimated five million people aged 55 or over who do not have access to the internet.

Contact us

If you would like to speak to one of our expert Lasting Power of Attorney lawyers, ring us on 01252 268862 or email us at marie@mgfwills.co.uk

Or, if you’d rather arrange a face to face appointment:

Hannah Dunmall
Hannah Dunmall
04/03/2021
Verified
I would highly recommend MGF. Marie guided us kindly and professionally from the first initial phone call to the final signing. She provided an un-pressured, user friendly service, that was very personal and efficient. We were very ignorant around the whole subject of wills and lasting powers of attorney, but Marie always made us feel that no question was a stupid one, and gave her time and attention to ensure we understood all that was involved. We have peace of mind now that we have everything in order, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Marie.
Nicole Falleur
Nicole Falleur
26/02/2021
Verified
I found this lady's business on an online search for a local will writer / solicitor for my Mother & I to write our wills after having not so positive experiences with previous companies we'd tried & Mum preferred to relate to a lady & I found that she was in our area & the only 1 who had 100% 5* Star ratings from all her customers who'd left reviews ! So we contacted her & went from there ! 🙂 We could not have found or wished for anyone better ! She offers such a personal service & is so easy to communicate with & is very knowledgeable & goes "the extra mile", nothing seems too much trouble & despite being a very busy woman, she gives as many extra hours of her time as her clients need & she does it all at a set fee ! She does not charge extra add on, additional charges for every hour, phonecall, Zoom call, visit, paperwork she does for you, she keeps to the very competitive price she quoted at the outset, which we found most unusual & refreshingly nice & welcome & very much appreciated indeed, no hidden charges or fear of nasty, frightening financial surprises ! She is such a very lovely person, personable, natural & relaxed to deal with, competent & efficient, keeps her word & punctual, doesn't let you down. We couldn't find better & she truly exceeded our expectations & we will use her again as she offers multiple legal services as listed on her website. Thank you Marie !
Victoria Shortland
Victoria Shortland
26/02/2021
Verified
Fabulous service from MGF Wills and Estate Planning. Marie was very helpful and answered our many many questions very patiently! I felt that Marie really knows her stuff and is very reasonably priced. Highly recommended.
Mr Clive Wills
Mr Clive Wills
12/02/2021
Verified
My wife and I had Mirror Wills drawn up. Marie was very professional, friendly and excellent communication throughout. She talked us through all aspects of wills. A very straightforward process and job done promptly. Completed in a Covid safe way. We would definitely recommend MGF.
Lissy Evett
Lissy Evett
11/02/2021
Verified
My objective was to find a good and affordable Will writing service that could accommodate me in a timely manner. I found all of those things with Marie Forkner, from the MGF Wills & Estate Planning Service. Great customer service, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. I highly recommend MGF Wills & Estate Planning Service. Excellent!
Kerry Davis
Kerry Davis
01/02/2021
Verified
Please do not hesitate in using MGF Wills. Excellent, knowledgeable service with unbiased advice and guidance. Look no further for your future planning needs. Highly recommended to anyone considering Will writing/storage etc. Wouldn’t hesitate recommending to friends and family A*.
Doug
Doug
24/01/2021
Verified
We would highly recommend MGF Wills. We had a will made last year. Marie was thorough, patient and willing to answer all our questions. There was no pressure put on us. Pricing was clear from the start. Highly recommended.
Carruthers Family
Carruthers Family
20/01/2021
Verified
Friendly advise & clear directions making completing our 1st Wills very straight forward. Have already recommended to a friend. It didn’t matter that it was all completed over the phone rather than face to face.
Mark C
Mark C
18/01/2021
Verified
Great service, competitively priced and quick turn around time. Marie explained everything clearly and was very knowledgeable. Would definitely recommend.
Mark Smith
Mark Smith
13/01/2021
Verified
Marie drew up the wills for my partner and I. She was professional and accommodating throughout the entire process. Everything was explained clearly and there was no such thing as a silly question. She even took the time to walk us through the signing process with our neighbours! We would thoroughly recommend Marie and will be using her in future if and when we need to update our wills.