I read with interest Philip Evans’ 16 April letter (‘A better way for an LPA’). He suggested a single-page certificate similar to a grant of probate as proof of a lasting power of attorney, to avoid the lengthy work involved in certifying current powers.
I put forward this proposal in detail 10 years ago when involved with the Ministry of Justice consultation ‘Reviewing the Mental Capacity Act 2005: forms, supervision and fees’. I was not alone in suggesting similar streamlining ideas. Unfortunately, these were not adopted but the need for change remains as strong as ever.
I remain of the view that it is sensible for the relevant information in a power of attorney to be condensed into a single-page certificate. This will save clients considerable cost. It will save we professionals significant work. It will save raw materials and electricity, as numerous pages are currently photocopied and printed which are of little interest to banks or other financial institutions.
In this day and age, consumers are rightly critical of over-packaging. This is a good example of the government failing to set an example. The previous enduring power of attorney form was only four pages, so not too onerous to certify. When certifying, the current powers are over-packaging the legal product far beyond what is required by financial institutions. In reality, they only need confirmation of the parties and to know whether there are any relevant restrictions.
Simon Rose, Associate solicitor, Progression Solicitors, Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria