Power of Attorney abuse fears as applications process is moved online

Power of Attorney abuse fears: Plans to move applications online could put vulnerable adults at risk of fraud, say solicitors

The Office of Public Guardian and Ministry of Justice want to speed up the Power of Attorney process

Solicitors are warning that plans to move the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) process entirely online could alienate vulnerable adults or put them at risk of fraud or abuse.

Among modernisation proposals, the Office of the Public Guardian and Ministry of Justice want to eliminate paper applications and the need for an independent party to witness signatures.

An LPA is a powerful legal document that allows you to give someone you trust the authority to make decisions on your behalf about your finances, health and care when you are no longer capable, or want to.

Michael Culver, chairman of Solicitors For The Elderly, says: ‘Vulnerable people could be more open to the abuse of power and fraud.’ 

Law Society president Stephanie Boyce added that those without computers or digital skills had not been considered.

The consultation closes next month.

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