Revised Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) Forms
Forms come and go, surviving changes and revisions. The Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) forms first seen in March 1986, underwent 3 changes during their lifetime, including a Welsh version in March 2000. With the introduction of the new LPA forms on 1st October 2009, these would have out-survived the first EPA form revision by 2 months. The new LPA forms are shorter, they contain completion notes, and are overall colourful.
The current forms, still usable till 1st April 2011, interestingly were criticised for being too difficult to understand, not dissimilar to comments made about the first EPA forms.
So what can we expect in the new revised LPA forms:
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- Name changes – Property and Affairs becomes Property and Financial Affairs (PF); Personal Welfare becomes Health and Welfare (HW).
- Shorter – PF has 11 pages, HW has 12 pages.
- The prescribed information is shortened to the provisions under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
- The completion guidance notes are included on the LPA. Including clearer instructions about; ticking boxes, crossing through unused boxes, and making amendments.
- More spaces for Attorney details, especially their addresses.
- A continuation sheet for trust corporations allowing for further details and their signatures.
- Revision back to ‘joint and several’, rather than ‘together and independent’.
- Colourful backgrounds identifying where you are in the forms; Donors, light blue; Certificate providers, cream; and Attorneys, beige.
- Continuation sheets are provided for:
- additional and replacement attorneys;
- named persons;
- further information;
- if you are unable to sign or make a mark; and
- for second certificate provider.
There also appears a small box, on the main form to indicate the number of attachments.
- There are much fewer tick boxes, especially the ones unfortunately often missed.
- Clearer instructions to the Donor about choices such as, ensuring the named person is not one of the attorneys or the replacement attorney.
Overall, the forms present as more straightforward and easier to use. Reducing tick boxes makes the forms appear more user friendly; enabling the person completing it to confirm details, rather than having to contend with several tick boxes. The inclusion of coloured sections does provide an easier way of identifying different sections with clients. Also produced by the OPG is a one page information guide to LPAs, detailing who is involved in the LPA creation process and their roles, together with use of the continuation sheets.
The forms do appear a little crowded, with quite a lot of factual information pulled together. It was also not perhaps necessary to put the OPG helpline number on every page. It is unfortunate to see, as yet there is no continuation of producing LPA forms in Welsh.
The consultation undertaken to arrive at these forms was extensive. A revised shorter form was produced part way through, which was considered unsatisfactory, being reduced down even further to the versions in SI 2009/1884. Just how these forms will operate in practice, clients and their advisers will no doubt say. What is clear is the new forms are shorter, simpler and more user-friendly, to hopefully a wider audience recognising the necessity to plan for their future.
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