Plans have been halted for the time being to introduce the paperless creation and registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Although there is a partial online system, all LPAs still need to be printed out and signed by hand – and then of course posted to the Office of the Public Guardian to be registered.
A fully online system hopes to simplify the process, although there have been concerns over security and forgery, not to mention undue influence and the fact that some people may not have access to the internet. It seems all concerns have yet to be fully addressed.
The main stumbling block in practical terms seems to be the fact that electronic signatures are still not valid in England and Wales and, in any event, the signature of the person giving the Lasting Powers of Attorney also needs to be witnessed.
Despite this, consultation launched in October will lead to the simplification of the process, specifically allowing the person who is making the Lasting Power of Attorney to say when the power is to come into effect.
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