LPA reform proposals: a snapshot

Published: 10th September 2021
Area: Private Client

Share This

LPA reforms

The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) process is set to move into the 21st century, with a digital evolution on the cards. However, the #FreeBritney movement must be kept in mind throughout the consultation process to avoid putting people at risk of financial, emotional or physical abuse.


Although the US conservatorship system differs to the law in England and Wales, financial abuse and coercive control are still potential issues that can occur with the use of LPAs. As a result, robust safeguards must be applied to the process to protect those that are most vulnerable.

Entering the modern age

Promising much-needed improvements to the LPA system, the consultation, ‘Modernising Lasting Powers of Attorney’, will assess how technology can be used to fast-track the current paper-based process and improve accessibility.

Introduced in 2007, following the scrapping of the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) system, the existing safeguards for LPAs are no longer suitable for the technological age that we live in

Going digital has its risks

Whilst a digital service would address many issues, it also has the potential to create them. Opening up the system to fraud and abuse, the Government must ensure that the public’s welfare is not compromised in order to make the process simpler.

For example, many elderly and vulnerable people are less tech-savvy, so considerations must be made to retain accessibility.

Switching to the remote witnessing of LPAs is also a potential concern. Being behind a computer screen provides anonymity, and it could lead to vulnerable people being pressured into signing an LPA against their will. It’s also questionable whether a person’s mental capacity can be accurately assessed using an online form.

Protecting yourself

When putting an LPA in place, people must ensure that they are choosing the best attorneys for the job. No matter how much a person loves a relative, if they cannot handle money responsibly, then they shouldn’t be chosen.

Attorneys will need to work together, so it’s also important that there aren’t any conflicts between them.

Finding the right advice

Power of Attorney documents can be highly complex, and without the correct advice, it is easy for people to fall into a range of legal pitfalls.

An LPA is needed when a person is at their most vulnerable, so it is essential that the  meets their needs and the attorney has their best interests at heart. Otherwise, the person could find themselves in a similar situation to Britney Spears.

Digital transformation is a core part of future-proofing legal processes, but people’s needs must never be overlooked on the journey.

Learn more about LPAs by getting in touch with our private client team.

Get In Contact

Suzanne acts for high-net-worth individuals in all aspects of private client work. She has a particular interest in advising family business owners and has the STEP Advanced Certificate in family business advising.

Private Client Services

Our experts are on hand to guide you through the technicalities of administering an estate and, when necessary, put sensible steps in place to protect your inheritance for the benefit of future generations. We also have extensive experience in preparing wills and succession planning.

Our Thoughts

All the latest thoughts and insights from our team

Family Law Christmas Guide

1 Dec


Family Law Christmas Guide

Read article Right Arrow

India opens up to collaborations and campuses with international universities

30 Nov


India opens up to collaborations and campuses with international universities

The Indian higher education market has finally opened up to non-Indian universities. The snappily-titled, […]

Read article Right Arrow

SHMA® On Demand

All the latest on-demand content

Employment Breakfast: Disciplinary Processes – Getting them right

13 Dec

Nick Jones, Partner - Employment | Cecily Donoghue, Senior Associate - Employment

Employment Breakfast: Disciplinary Processes – Getting them right

Employment Law experts Nick Jones and Cecily Donoghue will guide attendees through an overview […]

Register Right Arrow

Biodiversity Net Gains – new mandatory requirements for developers

30 Nov

Anna Cartledge, Partner | Louise Ingram, Partner

Biodiversity Net Gains – new mandatory requirements for developers

New mandatory requirements (introduced by the Environment Act 2021) will drive the delivery and […]

Watch Right Arrow