Remaining Up To Date With Key Changes To Legislation

As people are living longer, it is becoming more important than ever to ensure that the rights of vulnerable members of society and those who have lost capacity are upheld.

In recent years, a myriad of organisations, including The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and politicians in Parliament have worked tirelessly to improve the plight of the nation’s most at risk individuals.

Whilst this is admirable, it also means that legislative changes are frequent and understandings on key issues can quickly become out of date.

Throughout the past year, The Mental Capacity Amendment Bill 2017-19 has been moving back and forth between the House of Commons and House of Lords in a bid to update and improve the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards by repealing them and implementing the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS).

Currently, having passed through the Mental Capacity Amendment Bill, the government are working on a code of practice which is expected to be released later this year. All being well, this could mean that the Bill will become enforceable within a year.

Under the new LPS system, deprivation of liberty has moved beyond the realms of the hospital and care home setting to include supported living, domestic settings and shared living accommodation.

Overall, the new system will see a lot of changes that could impact the way in which legal professionals work with those lacking capacity as well as the way in which they adhere to the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act.

The OPG also released their safeguarding strategy 2019 to 2025 this week. All Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) registers have been made public, making it easier and faster to ensure that all LPAs are valid. The system involving making an LPA is also likely to be made fully digital within the next year.

Such important changes could impact on the way in which legal services are provided; it is therefore imperative that all practitioners have a full understanding of the new legislation.

On May 21st The Will Writing Academy, the training company of The Institute of Professional Willwriters and The Institute of Scottish Professional Willwriters, will aim to demystify the myriad of changes to the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice and the importance of ensuring that applications for LPAs are completed accurately, sensitively and fairly by reviewing the test for capacity and a range of Court of Protection and OPG issues that could affect the validity of an LPA.

The Mental Capacity Act and Lasting Powers of Attorney course, which is accredited by the CPD Standards Office and provides 6.5 hours CPD, will be held on May 21st at the Ibis Styles Hotel in Birmingham. To ensure that your understanding of these important issues is up to date, please register your interest via the following link.

This article was submitted to be published by the Institute of Professional Will Writers as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

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