Can I make a power of attorney online?
Posted on 6th October 2021
Our team of specialist Wills and Probate solicitors discuss everything you need to know about making a power of attorney, whether you can do it online, what can go wrong, and why you need the help of a specialist solicitor.
Generally speaking, you can make a power of attorney online, but whether this is the right decision is an entirely different matter. Making a Power of Attorney, or a Lasting Power of Attorney, is a specialist legal process, which can be very complicated for those who are not well experienced in the legal drafting process.
When you are making a Power of Attorney online, there are a large number of mistakes that can be made, that can render your Power of Attorney not legally binding, and ineffective if you ever need to use the Power of Attorney, drafted by yourself, online.
This can be extremely damaging, as, by the time you realise that your Power of Attorney is ineffective, it could well be too late to put another in place. Whether it’s a Financial Power of Attorney or a Health Power of Attorney, you could well be too late to make another, and you may not have the capacity to do so, by the time you realise that the online Power of Attorney is ineffective.
How do I make a Power of Attorney online?
The internet is not short of quick-fix DIY methods of making a Power of Attorney online. From using the Office of the Public Guardian’s online service and attempting to navigate through the entire process on your own, to using an online service to save money and do it online, each online Power of Attorney service has its risks.
Legal advice- the main risk associated with online Power of Attorney creation is the complete lack of expert legal advice. It is a complex legal process, which can vary depending on your specific needs, and required a personalised, tailored service from a Power of Attorney expert, such as MG Legal’s Wills and Probate solicitors
Complicated forms- the complex forms included in Power of Attorney applications are hugely important, and just one mistake can have far-reaching implications that will render the Power of Attorney ineffective when it comes to being implemented
Signing problems- the signing and witnessing of Power of Attorney is more important than you may think, and ensuring that it is all done in the correct order
Registering of the Power of Attorney- one of the most common problems with an online Power of Attorney, is that they are often not properly registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. After spending so much time creating your Power of Attorney, if it is not properly registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, it will not be valid. Make sure you seek expert legal assistance to make your Power of Attorney valid.
Why use a solicitor for a Power of Attorney?
Working with specialist solicitors for your Power of Attorney takes all of the risk and worries out of the Power of Attorney process. You can be confident that the Power of Attorney will be set up properly, be tailored to your specific needs and individual circumstances, and will be fully valid when it becomes needed.
On top of this, working with a specialist Power of Attorney solicitor such as MG Legal will take all of the stress out of the process. Your designates Power of Attorney solicitor will provide you with all of the legal advice throughout the process, and will take care of the process on your behalf, allowing you to get on with your daily life and responsibilities, without having to take time out of your day.
If you have any questions throughout the process on how it works, or what the future implications will be about any specific decisions, your designated Power of Attorney solicitor will be on hand to answer them right away.
Are Lasting Power of Attorney applications moving online?
In recent weeks, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Public Guardian have began discussions on how to move the LPA and power-of-attorney application process online.
This comes as just one of many moves to digitalise legal applications, such as divorce applications. The office of the public guardian has stated that this decision is a part of simplifying the LPA process, amidst claims that the current paper system is too complex.
Concerns over LPA applications moving online:
These are concerns around two different elements of the new proposals. First, our lasting power of attorney solicitors worry what will happen to our clients, or other members of society who cannot access a digital service, or are not digitally literate and able to do this.
Many of the clients that our lasting power of attorney solicitors work with are older, and many of them do not have access to a computer or a laptop that would allow for these online applications to be done. The same can also be said for many people living in care homes, nursing homes, or living with learning difficulties who struggle to access digital resources.
On top of these concerns, or worries about the safeguarding of lasting power of attorney applications in a new digital form. Currently, all lasting power of attorney applications must be signed by a witness in order to be valid.
There have been suggestions that as a part of moving the lasting power of attorney applications online, the office of the public guardian also want to eliminate the need for these independent witnesses to sign the documents.
This raises further concerns to our lasting power of attorney solicitors surrounding the possibility of fraud and abuse of power when making these applications. As it stands, the presence of an independent witness, a role that our solicitors often manage for our clients, insures that the person intends to make the application in this way, and eradicate the rest of identity theft or fraud.
If the lasting power of attorney application becomes digital, and is an online process, this safeguarding may be sacrificed in hopes of simplifying the process.
Contact our Power of Attorney solicitors today:
If you are looking to speak to a Power of Attorney solicitor about how we can help, do not hesitate to contact us today.
Our specialist Power of Attorney solicitors offer our Power of Attorney services at a clear, fixed-fee rate, which is clearly outlined here on our fees page. You might be surprised how affordable it really is to make a Power of Attorney with our solicitors, and the creation of this important document in the long run can be priceless.
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