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Gumersalls News

Survey Calls For Improvements To Power Of Attorney Process

by | Mar 28, 2022 | Family & Divorce | 0 comments

The consumer rights group Which? has called for an urgent reform of the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) system, which they say is no longer fit for purpose. Although the survey found that 85% of people knew what an LPA was, it revealed some concerning misconceptions and gaps in knowledge.

An LPA is a written legal document whereby a person gives permission for one or more individuals to handle their affairs, should they lose the capacity to do so themselves. There are two different types, to deal with Property and Financial Affairs, and Health and Welfare. The documents only take effect once the capacity to make decisions has been lost.

However, the survey revealed that 70% of people thought they didn’t need one as they were in good health, and 77% assumed that they can be set up at any stage of life. This is not true; the LPA must be put in place while the individual still has the capacity to understand the implications of their decision.

Jenny Ross, Which? Money Editor, said: ‘People who take on the responsibility of helping a family member or friend to deal with their financial affairs should not have to jump through hoops when dealing with banks, but our research reveals many are still facing an uphill struggle to put the legal arrangement in place. ‘

She added: ‘The creaking power of attorney system needs urgent improvement, particularly to address the public’s lack of awareness of how the process works and the difficulties people face when registering with banks.’

If you or a loved one becomes incapacitated without an LPA in place, then relatives have to go through a complex and expensive court process in order to be granted power over their funds. According to This is Money, nearly 350,000 are facing this situation at the moment, which will potentially cost thousands of pounds.


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