Lasting Powers of Attorney
From the 1st October 2009 the forms for Lasting Powers of Attorney will be changing again.
The new forms will be available on the website for the Office of the Public Guardian www.publicguardian.gov.uk from that date.
They will update the Lasting Powers of Attorney: Property and Affairs and Personal Welfare, although existing LPAs made before then, or made afterwards and signed by the donor making the LPA on or before 31st March 2011, will remain valid. Also valid will be existing Enduring Powers of Attorney signed by all parties named in the EPA before 1st October 2007. However, the new forms are much easier to use, so it is unlikely that anyone will choose to use the LPA Property and Affairs or Personal Welfare forms after 30th September 2009.
Confused? So is everyone. The verdict at the moment is that the new forms available on 1st October are much shorter, clearer, easier to complete, and contain less personal information which you would prefer not to be broadcast around the country, such as the dates of birth, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of all your attorneys. The instructions for completion of sections are printed onto the form at the relevant point, and far less paperwork is needed. A certificate of capacity will still be required, and the new forms must still be registered to be effective, using the old registration forms which require information not incorporated on the new forms, so care will still have to be taken. The registration forms themselves are to be revised as soon as possible.
The Office of the Public Guardian has moved from London to Birmingham. The forms have all changed again. The certification process to mark the LPAs as registered has changed in the middle of all this, and the banks are struggling to keep their staff up to date with the changes. So we are still seeing problems in the use of the forms from time to time, but hopefully, things will now settle down so everyone can get used to one system of reasonably well designed paperwork. There are bound to be a new set of teething problems, but the preparation of a Lasting Power of Attorney remains highly recommended where suitable attorneys can be found.