At the beginning of the summer, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) began consulting with those who draft Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) about their experiences of the LPA service.
Although the OPG is yet to publish its full findings, they have published some initial feedback on their blog.
A key response from the consultation was that people were facing difficulties with the paperwork itself, and that this was causing delays later on.
Signatures may be missing or in the wrong order, and pages may be mixed up or even missing. There is also the practical hurdle to overcome of getting the correct part of the LPA to, for instance, an attorney and back again – not an easy task if that person lives abroad.
The OPG has also reported that users found the online LPA service confusing. Unlike a digital LPA, the online service simply allows you to fill in the forms online. You are then still required to print, sign and submit the document by post to the OPG.
Some feedback on the idea of a digital LPA focused on security and safeguarding. Measures would need to be put in place to ensure that people’s identities were confirmed, their data was kept secure, and that LPAs could not be made fraudulently.
The OPG concluded that there is a demand for a digital LPA, but have no current plans to remove the paper forms. The body will continue to work with users to explore how the future of LPAs might look.
If you are considering making an LPA or are having difficulty putting the documents together yourself, please do not hesitate to contact Anna on 01865 244661 to discuss your needs.