Solicitor speaks out over online attorney powers

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SOLICITOR Andrea Cox has joined a number of organisations representing older people to raise concerns around the government’s online tool for creating Lasting Powers of Attorney.

An LPA is a legal document that allows a person to appoint individuals to make decisions about care and finances on their behalf, in the event of a loss of mental capacity.

In May 2014, the government’s Office of the Public Guardian launched its online LPA tool, which it claims allows people to create the documents without advice from a solicitor.

But a new report, published by a coalition of organisations, warns that anyone creating an LPA without taking legal advice faces a significantly higher risk of being left with an ineffective legal document, incurring additional fees, and even becoming a victim of fraud.

Andrea, head of private client at Verisona Law in Portsmouth, said: ‘The prospect of being able to submit an LPA application entirely digitally is extremely concerning, and raises serious questions around the potential for fraud and financial abuse.’