New forms for Lasting Powers of Attorney

16 Sep 2015 | Comment

On 1 July 2015, the Office of the Public Guardian published new versions of the Lasting Power of Attorney forms.

Lasting Powers of Attorney are legal documents whereby a person is able to appoint someone they trust as their attorney allowing them to make certain decisions on their behalf if and when they need to. There are currently around 1.2 million Lasting Powers of Attorney registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

The aim is that the updated forms will be clearer and easier to use in the hope that more people will consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney. The forms also dispense with the previous requirement that a person must be given notice when the Lasting Power of Attorney is registered.  However, the safeguards of an independent witness and a person to certify mental capacity remain in place. The old versions of the forms can continue to be used at present provided they are signed by 1 January 2016. After this date the new forms must be used. It is therefore imperative that anybody currently in the process of drafting a Lasting Power of Attorney ensures it is correctly signed and witnessed before 1 January 2016.

Despite the fact that the forms have been simplified, Lasting Powers of Attorney are still legal documents which must be correctly signed and registered in order to be used. There are many cases each year where Lasting Powers of Attorney are found to be invalid and cannot be used, resulting in the need to make an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy which is more costly and time-consuming. It therefore remains strongly advisable to approach a solicitor to assist with the process of preparing your Lasting Power of Attorney.

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