Lasting Power of Attorney Agreements

Justice – in the House of Commons at on 26 March 2024.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Labour, Leeds North East

What steps he is taking to prevent the potential abuse of lasting power of attorney agreements.

Photo of Mike Freer Mike Freer Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

When an LPA application is submitted, there is a statutory four-week waiting period before the LPA can be registered, during which objections can be lodged. As for registered LPAs, any concerns about an attorney abusing one can be reported to the Office of the Public Guardian, which will investigate. As part of the modernisation of LPAs following the passage of the Powers of Attorney Act 2023, new identity verification processes will be introduced to further strengthen the system.

Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Labour, Leeds North East

More than 6 million people in Britain have lasting power of attorney agreements. I have been inundated recently with so many harrowing stories from across the country of abusers targeting elderly people and stealing their estate from under their nose. Will the Minister ensure that a proper medical assessment is carried out before an LPA is activated, and that the digitisation of LPAs does not lead to families losing their loved one’s estate to unscrupulous abusers?

Photo of Mike Freer Mike Freer Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point, and I am more than happy to take that away and write to him about the steps we take to ensure that that level of check is in place. I reassure the House that people can check the “use a lasting power of attorney” service on gov.uk to see where LPAs have been issued, and whether one has been issued without their knowledge.