Powers of Attorney Act 2023: the Digitalisation of Lasting Powers of Attorney

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A Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPA’) is a document that grants someone the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you no longer have the mental capacity to do so yourself.  The current LPA registration system has been critiqued over the years as a result of the arguably outdated paper process.

The Powers of Attorney Act 2023 received Royal Assent on 19 September 2023, and it primarily aims to modernise and simplify the LPA registration process. Since the pandemic, there has been a demand for documents to be digitalised. You can now apply for probate through My HMCTS, as well submitting Land Registry documents through an online portal. It is now time to bring LPAs into the digital world.

According to the Office of the Public Guardian (‘OPG’) it registered 848,896 LPAs in 2023. Given the quantity of paper received by the OPG, LPAs are currently taking 20 weeks to be registered, if not longer. The Act introduces a simpler and more streamlined process, whereby LPAs will be registered in a much shorter time-frame.

What are the changes?

The Act aims to shift the registration process to an online system, bypassing the paper formalities. Under the current paper system, the donor (the person making the power of attorney), attorneys, certificate provider and witnesses must sign the LPA forms in a specific order. The completed power is then sent to the OPG alongside the relevant fee for registration. The completed power is returned as a registered document which will be stored safely by the donor until it is needed. Through the online system, everyone (including the donor) will sign the LPAs online, so no wet ink signatures are required. The risk of losing the LPAs when posting the relevant sections to the attorneys, or the completed power to the OPG will be eliminated, reassuring the donor that their LPA will be safely received and registered without delay.

As the Act aims to promote accessibility, the paper process will not be completely abandoned. An improved paper process will be introduced for those who do not have internet access, or those who choose to continue using the paper process.

The online system will be designed to recognise any errors earlier. Errors can be rectified online rather than having to wait for documents to be posted back and forth between the donor and the OPG as currently happens. By completing the forms and rectifying any errors online, the registration process will be shortened from 20 weeks to just 2 weeks.

The Act further aims to protect the donor through online ID checks, which is not an option under the current system. Donors will need to provide identification which will then need to be verified by the OPG. The new ID measure will aim to reduce fraud, adding an additional layer of protection for the donor.

Of course, there needs to be a careful balance between freedom of access for everyone who wants to create an LPA and protection against fraud, abuse and coercion.


The online system is currently being developed by the OPG, and extensive testing will need to be carried out prior to release. For now, it is business as usual. What we do know is that when the new system is released, the process of registering an LPA should be streamlined and efficient.

This article is for general purpose and guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be taken before acting on any of the topics covered. No part of this article may be used, reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form, or by any means without the prior permission of Brecher LLP.