Reform of the APL: the government offers a digital service

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According to the proposals, people will be able to create an LPA entirely online for the first time, while also being able to use the current paper channel for those who prefer it. The digital service should be introduced to reduce application errors and speed up registrations.

The government has also pledged to explore further how the digital system could improve the testimonial process and make it simpler, giving donors more time to focus on other important aspects of the process.

The response, published on Friday 20 May, follows a consultation on modernizing LPAs launched in July last year, aimed at strengthening donor safeguards, improving the process of creating and registering an LPA for donors, advocates and third parties, and to ensure the sustainability of OPGs while keeping APLs as affordable as possible for all members of society.

The government has also sought to strengthen safeguards to protect vulnerable people from abuse or fraud with plans that include new identity checks, which would require official documents or information such as a driver’s license, passport or a Government Gateway account as part of an enhanced verification process.

The response also outlines the government’s plans to create a clearer process to object to the registration of an APL, as well as automation to facilitate access to the digital service and its sustainability, he said. declared. In addition, the government is committed to ensuring sufficient powers in legislation to enable it to mandate regulated legal professionals to use the digital service in the future if necessary.

The government rejected the introduction of an urgent service on the grounds that it could slow down the service more generally, as well as the idea of ​​merging the finance and health LPAs, but said it would examine how reduce data duplication where both are in place.

Justice Minister MP Tom Pursglove said: “Our reforms will make the system easier to access, simpler and even more secure against fraud. This is part of our plans to leverage technology across government and provide better services to the public.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown (HL), said: “We’ve seen the number of APLs soar in recent years, but it’s still an issue that a lot of people don’t want to discuss. .

“According to recent research by HL, only 13% of people have an APL in place. This includes only 10% of people aged 55-64, although this rises to one in five (22%) of people aged 65 to age 74. Accidents or periods of poor health mean young people may also need APL, so it’s something that should be on everyone’s radar.

“However, people put off making these decisions and risk financial chaos by not having documents such as an LPA in place. This means no one can step in if a loved one loses track of how they manage their finances. or prevent a scammer from manipulating a vulnerable person to get their hands on their money.In the worst case, the family may be forced to apply to the protection court for a sub-prefectural order, which can be both time-consuming and expensive.

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