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Legal Executives closer to certifying Lasting Powers of Attorney

Those who know me are aware that I am a Legal Executive and not a solicitor. I am the new breed of lawyer who trains and studies whilst working and qualifies in a different way to a solicitor. My experience and knowledge is from the 20 years I have spent doing this job, not because of a qualification. My exams were harder to do. I studied in my specialist field for longer and had to prove to my regulators I had the skills and experience to do my job and set up my own firm. But, there are still many things that I am not allowed to do.

Slowly our professional body is beginning to address some of these problems. I am however delighted to report that legislation to allow Legal Executives to certify lasting powers of attorney has sailed through its latest stage in Parliament this month.

The legislation is a private member's bill which means one MP asked the government to look at a change in the law. There are some other amendments that are being made in this piece of legislation to allow lasting powers to be made and registered electronically and to facilitate a new paper process. New safeguards are being introduced to identify the identity of individuals involved in making the lasting power of attorney or named in the form along with changes to the objection process for registration and just allowing the donor to register rather than their attorneys. The changes will also allow a system for the future which registered the lasting power electronically which will be sufficient as evidence of proof of registration along with paper copies. Whilst all of these changes are fantastic the thing that makes me smile about The Powers of Attorney Bill is that it will amend the legislation to allow chartered legal executives to certify a copy power of attorney.

This means I can certify your lasting powers of attorney, finally!! It has been somewhat bewildering to know that I can prepare them, register them, object to them, witness them and certificate provide on them but cannot do the bit that does not require any specialist legal skills!

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