On Wednesday 1 July 2015, new Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) forms were made available by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG has advised that the new forms for both Property and Financial Affairs LPAs and Health and Welfare LPAs will be simpler and clearer and therefore faster to complete. Under the new regime, the requirement for a second Certificate Provider has been removed. However, other safeguards remain the same, such as the need for an independent witness or witnesses and someone certifying that the Donor has capacity. The OPG will be accepting both the old and new versions of LPA forms for the next six months. From Wednesday 1 July 2015 until Friday 1 January 2016, a Donor can use either the old or new versions of the forms to create and register an LPA. If an old LPA form (ie a pre 1 July 2015 form) has been completed, signed and dated correctly by Friday 1 January 2016, it can still be registered at any time provided it was made correctly. No changes are being made to enduring powers of attorney forms at this time. These will still be able to be registered after the introduction of the new LPA forms. Whatever the format of the forms, our view is that an LPA is an extremely important document for an individual to have. We believe that, at the very least, everybody should have a Property and Financial Affairs LPA in place as the alternative, in the event of a person’s mental incapacity, would be a long drawn out and expensive application to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.
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