New lasting powers of attorney on the way

The form used to create Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) in England and Wales has been amended to amalgamate the instruments for making and registering an LPA. Under the Lasting Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Public Guardian (Amendment) Regulations 2015 which were laid before Parliament on 26 March, the 2007 regulations are amended and will bring new forms of LPA into effect as of 1 July 2015 although the existing LPA forms introduced in 2009 can still be executed until 1 January 2016.

The new forms of LPA contain a number of interesting and relevant changes.

These can be summarised as follows:

  • The requirements of two certificate providers where no named person is included has been removed. It is now up to the maker of an LPA to decide whether they wish to name anyone at all. Whether they do or not, only one certificate provider is required.
  • There is no requirement to name anyone to be notified when the LPA is registered- there is an optional section to complete.
  • A new section 5 in a financial LPA gives specific options as to when the LPA comes into operation- on registration or only on incapacity. The section warns that limiting the LPA to incapacity only may restrict its usefulness.
  • Section 7 replaces restrictions and guidance with preferences and instructions and the section recording what has been agree about paying an attorney in the present LPA has been removed. Interestingly, the section contains the comment 'most people leave this page blank'.
  • Four attorneys and two replacements are provided for within the standard form with a continuation sheet if more are required. The LPA provides helpful detail in section 4 about when and how replacement attorneys can act.
  • The details required from the certificate provider are much reduced; only their name and address are required- not details of their qualification to act.
  • There are now four continuation sheets – sheets one and two for additional attorneys/replacements and information about how decisions are to be made/preferences and instructions, sheet three to be used where the donor cannot sign or make a mark and sheet four where a trust corporation is to be appointed as an attorney.
  • The form itself and its registration paperwork are now in a single document. The registration sections – 12 to 15- are significantly shorter than Form LPA2 as they remove a significant amount of duplicatory information.

Generally the format of the new LPA is much simpler and less cluttered due, in part, to much of the guidance and notes which are on the face of the current form being included in a separate Guide to which frequent reference is made in the relevant parts of the LPA itself. There is, however, still very little room for certification stamps and overall the LPA is longer due to the registration section- 20 pages in total.

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