Nia Wharry, Partner & Head of Wills & Estate Planning
– As this article shows, there is a growing popularity of people undertaking Lasting Powers of Attorney online. The attraction of knowing that someone you trust will take over your financial affairs, or look after your health and welfare interests should you lose capacity has led to a big uptake in this cheaper type of LPA. However, as a reputable solicitor, we would recommend that you think very carefully about registering an LPA online as it is difficult as a non-qualified professional to see the loopholes and inconsistencies in what is, after all, an important legal document.
Government do-it-yourself kits for lasting powers of attorney have been criticised and called “risky”, as new figures reveal public take-up is spiralling.
Lasting powers of attorney (LPA) – which transfer the responsibility to make key life choices to another person in the event of mental incapacity – have increased threefold since 2010, according to data released by the government under the Freedom of Information Act.
In 2014, the government’s office of the public guardian (OPG) launched an online service enabling the general public to create the documentation needed to put an LPA in place.
And according to the OPG data, which was provided in response to a request from wealth manager Old Mutual, the number of LPAs registered was in the low tens of thousands in the late noughties. However, in 2015 the number spiked to over 440,000. Meanwhile, during the first seven months of 2016 there had already been almost 300,000 applications.
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