Due to an anomaly within legislation Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executors are not able to certify lasting powers of attorney. Argo has been providing evidence to our regulators The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) to show how this causes unnecessary delays and confusion, to the detriment of our clients. This issue is as a result of wording in The Power of Attorney Act 1971 only allows solicitors and notaries public to certify copies.
CILEx has long maintained that there is no reason for this distinction, and a survey of members practising in wills and probate shows that it causes them a problem an average of 10 times a month. That results in something like over 2000 delays at a time of massive strain on families that can only cause even greater distress. The research conducted by CILEx also found that it had a negative effect on firms’ quality of service – 75% said it caused delays – client satisfaction and fees.
CILEX and Argo therefore welcome the decision of the Land Registry to accept copies of lasting powers of attorney certified by CILEx Lawyers for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic. CILEx Chair Chris Bones says: “We strongly welcome the Land Registry’s move and hope it will become permanent. It is showing justified confidence in the competence and qualifications of CLIEx Lawyers and we urge the government to take measures to make this a permanent arrangement.
“Modernising practice in this way helps ensure affordable and timely access to legal services, particularly for the more than one million people especially susceptible to COVID-19. Our research shows how this outdated legislation is causing real people real problems, in an environment where concerns are already accentuated by the current pandemic.
“Removing such an illogical constraint to release more than 3,000 CILEx Lawyers to meet the needs of vulnerable people can only be a good thing and we urge other areas of government and the justice system to follow the Land Registry’s example.”
Another step in the right direction for equality between the legal profession!