Lasting Powers of Attorney
In 2007 Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”) came into force replacing the old regime of Enduring Powers of Attorney (“EPAs) then in place. The reason EPAs were replaced with LPAs was to try and prevent fraud and abuse of vulnerable people, to incorporate new checks and balances to prove that the donor had sufficient capacity, and to ensure that the Donor was not under any undue influence when drawing up the same.
The first of these considered checks and balances was to enable a person to be notified when an LPA was registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. If the person to be notified had any concerns regarding the Donor or the Attorneys, they could raise their concerns with the Office of the Public Guardian directly, and where necessary, object to the documents being registered.
The second considered measure introduced the role of the Certificate Provider. A Certificate Provider must be a person that has known the Donor for at least two years and who is more than just an acquaintance. Alternatively the Donor can appoint a professional, such as their GP or Solicitor. The role of the Certificate Provider is to ensure that the Donor understands the purpose of an LPA, ensure that no fraud or undue pressure is being placed upon the Donor to create the said LPA and ensure that there is nothing else that would prevent the LPA being created.
Following the simplification of the LPA forms by the Office of the Public Guardian on 1st July 2015, the forms are now much easier to use, are shorter and use plain English. The new LPA forms removed the requirement to notify someone of the creation of an LPA prior to its registration with the Office of the Public Guardian, making this now only an optional requirement if the Donor so wishes. The new LPA forms also incorporated the registration application pages, in order to encourage the immediate registration of LPAs.
You must always ensure that when drawing up your LPAs you trust your Attorneys to always act with integrity and in your best interests. It is therefore often advisable to seek professional legal assistance in order to consider all aspects of LPAs and to help prevent abuse taking place.
Ben Davies TEP
Partner and Head of Wills, Trusts & Probate
PRINCE EVANS SOLICITORS LLP
Direct Line: 020 8280 2718
Fax Number: 020 8840 7757