An online tool designed to eliminate errors in the application process for lasting powers of attorney (LPA) has gone live today.
Currently, almost a fifth of applications received by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), which manages the LPA scheme, contain mistakes.
An LPA is a legal document allowing the applicant to appoint someone they trust to make decisions about their welfare, money or property, should they lose capacity in the future. LPA numbers have grown from 150,000 in 2010/11 to 229,000 in 2012/13, an increase of around 53%.
The online tool developed by the Ministry of Justice takes users through each page of the application, ensuring each is completed correctly before being printed off and submitted. Applicants can complete the process themselves or seek help from a solicitor or other trusted individual.
The government has also just announced that it is to launch a consultation on making the process fully digital – so that forms can be submitted online.
Alan Eccles, the public guardian, said: ‘More and more people are taking the important decision to apply for an LPA and it is right they receive the best possible service. This online tool is the first step in making the whole system simpler, clearer and faster. We are continually looking to identify further improvements.’