Power of attorney is changing

Lasting power of attorney (LPA) forms are changing on Wednesday 1 July, 2015.

On Wednesday 1 July, new, simpler and clearer Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) forms will be introduced for both property and financial affairs LPAs and health and welfare LPAs.

How have the forms changed?

The new forms reflect the responses to our consultation and feedback from users who were directly involved in their development. The redesign will make the forms easier to follow and faster to complete. There is also no longer a requirement for a second certificate provider, as it was making it difficult for some people who wanted to make an LPA.

The forms for health and welfare and property and finance have not been combined and there is still at requirement for a signature and witness for the life sustaining treatment section. Other safeguards remain the same, such as the need for an independent witness to sections of the LPA and someone you know certifying that, in their judgement, you have capacity.

The new LPA forms complement the existing online LPA service which takes users through each page of the application step-by-step, making sure it is completed correctly before it’s printed off and submitted. The online service has been improved to support solicitors’ processes in a better way.

Timing for transition to the new forms

  • From Wednesday, 1 July 2015 until Friday, 1 January 2016, you can use either the old or new versions of these forms to create and register an LPA.
  • If the old LPA forms have been completed, signed and dated correctly by Friday, 1 January 2016, they can still be registered at any time providing they have been made correctly.
  • If an LPA made using the old forms has not been completed, signed and dated by Friday, 1 January 2016, they won’t be able to be registered.

No changes are being made to enduring powers of attorney (EPA) forms at this time. These will still be able to be registered after the introduction of the new LPA forms.

The new forms will be available to download from www.gov.uk/opg from Wednesday 1 July.

Registration and costs

It costs nothing to draw up a lasting power of attorney, unless you want a solicitor’s help – but in England, Wales and Scotland you have to register it before you can use it.

In Northern Ireland you can use it without registering it while you still have mental capacity, but you have to register it as soon as your mental capacity starts to decline.

It’s best to register as soon as possible. This is because during the registration process the document will be checked for errors.

If you catch them while you can still manage your affairs you can correct them – if not, your power of attorney might be invalid.

Registration fee

  • England and Wales: £110 for each lasting power of attorney.
  • Scotland: £70 for each power if you register them separately, and £70 if you register both at the same time.
  • Northern Ireland: £115 for each enduring power of attorney.

The fee may change so it’s a good idea to check when you register.

myageingparent.com has partnered with Collective Legal Solutions to provide their audience with access to information and advice on legal planning measures that must be considered in later life.

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