Simplified Lasting Powers of Attorney Forms to be Introduced
The number of Lasting Powers of Attorney applications submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian has increased significantly in recent years. With 200,000 applications made in 2011 to 2012, 242,000 in 2012 to 2013 increasing to 295,000 in 2013 to 2014.
On the 21 of August 2014, Justice Minister Simon Hughes announced that as part of the Transforming Government Services to make them more efficient and effective for users. Lasting Powers of Attorney should become both easier and simpler for people to make.
In his recent press release, the Justice Minister states “It will be easier and simpler for people to make sure their wishes are followed if their mental capacity declines, thanks to improvements to the lasting powers of attorney (LPA) application process”.
He also went on to say :
The process, run by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), will retain key safeguards so that choices on life-sustaining treatment continue to be made with the utmost care.
Having listened to the views of the public, we are not combining the forms for health and welfare and property and finance.
Nor will we be removing the requirement for a signature and witness for the life-sustaining treatment section.
Other safeguards remain the same, such as the need for an independent witness to sections of the LPA and someone you know certifying that, in their judgment, you have the capacity.
Having lasting powers of attorney is as important as having a will and these changes make it much easier for people to apply for one.
LPAs give people the peace of mind of knowing that if they ever lose capacity, the important decisions about their life can be taken by someone they have chosen and can trust.
We are keeping the right safeguards in place to protect the public from what can be a vulnerable time in a person’s life.
The OPG will be launching the redesigned LPA applications by early next year.
You can read Justice Minister Simon Hughes Full LPA Press Release here