In December 2022, the Ministry of Justice backed the Powers of Attorney Bill put forward as a Private Member’s Bill by Stephen Metcalfe MP.  The Bill brings forward a proposal to allow the Lasting Power of Attorney to be made completely online. The Bill also brings forward the Government’s proposal to Modernise the Lasting Power of Attorney which it consulted on in 2021.

‘The OPG reports that it is taking up to 20 weeks on average to process an LPA application, against its target of eight weeks. Reliance on paper makes the process unnecessarily complicated and the Office of the Public Guardian is ‘drowning in paperwork’, said Mr Metcalfe.

The Ministry of Justice says allowing the LPA to be made completely online will reduce errors, which in turn will reduce waiting times. An improved paper process will, however, also be introduced for those unable to use the internet.

The Law Society told the Law Society Gazette that it supports the Bill’s aim to improve access to Powers of Attorney through a new digital route but was ‘disappointed’ that the Bill does not address the need for LPA certification to expressly include consideration of the Donor’s capacity.

Poor decisions

The Society said ‘…an LPA is one of the most important legal documents a person will make. The consequence of an Attorney making a poor decision could result in the Donor losing all their assets, being admitted into a care home against their wishes or even premature death’.

Including consideration of the Donor’s capacity ‘would establish that a person making an LPA has the capacity to do so and is a crucial safeguard that is needed to protect the most vulnerable’, a spokesperson said.

There has, however, been some opposition online to this proposal, seeing it as a ‘crook’s paradise’ for people to abuse. The MOJ digital strategy 2025 is to ‘transform the user experience’ and it wants to build a modern Lasting Power of Attorney.


Build a Modern Power of Attorney

 Outcomes the MOJ wants to achieve

  • Citizens have better support to make decisions
  • Improved protection for adults who are at risk
  • Better value for money

 Delivered through services that

  • Enable citizens to register, make and use a Lasting Power of Attorney digitally
  • Automate processes to allow colleagues to focus on complex work
  • Are more robust and simpler to maintain by removing reliance on all legacy systems

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