Practitioners are being reminded to submit their thoughts on the Ministry of Justice’s consultation on the future of LPAs in a blog on the OPG website. More than 140 responses have already been received, with many coming from members of the public.
The consultation was launched in July with the ambition of “(making) the service quicker to use, easy to access and even more secure from fraud” according to Justice Minister, Alex Chalk MP. It will review:
- How witnessing works, and whether remote witnessing or other safeguards are desirable.
- How to reduce the chance of an LPA being rejected due to avoidable errors.
- Whether the OPG’s remit should be expanded to have the legal authority to carry out further checks such as identification verification.
- How people can object to an LPA and the process itself, as well as when is the right time for an objection to be made.
- Whether a new urgent service is needed to ensure those who need an LPA granted quickly can get one.
- How solicitors access the service and the best way to facilitate this.
The survey can be access here: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/opg/modernising-lasting-powers-of-attorney/ and will run until 13th October. Proposals under consideration include
- removing the need for a witness altogether;
- expanding the remit of the OPG to verify individuals and tighten up on the risk of fraud;
- when and how long people may object for;
- the need for an expedited service;
- and the potential to provide greater integration into legal case management systems.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) started a 12-week consultation in July and it’s easy to respond online or in writing. More than 140 responses have already been received, with many coming from members of the public. The author of the blog, Laura Crouch says
“We want to make LPAs safer, simpler and fit for the future.
Safer – we want to create a process which improves safeguards against fraud, abuse and undue pressure.
Simpler – the process of creating and registering an LPA should be quick, accessible and user-friendly for all, with the option of a paper-based route if required.
Fit for the future – providing a service that is financially sustainable while keeping LPAs affordable is essential, as we rely on more digital services that are fit for a modern world.
This does not mean we are removing paper from the process. As part of this work, we are considering exactly how we can ensure that a paper channel with equivalent safeguards can be provided for those who need it.”