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Super powers of attorney: the digital miracle?

Making lasting powers of attorney easily available online shouldn’t mean we forget that they raise complex issues or result in the lowering of safeguards, writes Jean-Yves Gilg

7 February 2017

The number of lasting powers of attorney registered with the Office of the Public Guardian has shot up dramatically in the past few years. The latest figures show applications for the registration of LPAs rose by more than a third last year, to 533,229, with 1,870,393 powers of attorney on the OPG’s register at the end of March. Since then, the OPG has received an average of 11,191 applications per week, putting the 2016/17 accounting period on course to reach a record 581,900 applications.

In many respects, this is good news, especially in the light of cases such as Briggs or Conway, which have highlighted the practical and emotional challenges in circumstances where there are no LPAs in place.

But the success of the new powers of attorney, introduced by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to replace enduring powers of attorney, means there are now ‘an awful lot of att...

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