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Agency investigates options for digital LPAs

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Government experts have indicated they may favour a move towards a digital system for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

Officials believe that the overly-complicated layout of the forms currently in use is proving a significant hindrance in some cases and the idea of a transition to a less confusing format is gaining traction.

The suggestion is laid out in a new post on the Office of the Public Guardian’s website.

The agency, part of the Ministry of Justice, is responsible for safeguarding those individuals who have lost the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their finances or welfare.

“96 per cent of [the] current reasons for errors at registration could be eliminated with the removal of paper,” said the OPG’s Caroline Hufton.

“Developing a digital LPA could solve a lot of these problems, as well as reducing costs of postage and printing for both users and OPG.”

Ms Hufton has recently overseen a ten week research exercise into LPAs, seeking the views of the public, legal professionals, charities, financial institutions and other interested parties.

This exercise has laid bare the potential for errors that exists in the “paper process”, with individuals often leaving off signatures or key dates, mixing up pages or even losing some of the sheets altogether.

With this in mind, the OPG is looking at its options as regards an electronic system, although the organisation has conceded that there are many challenges to overcome.