Following completion of the first stage of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) consultation, “Reviewing the Mental Capacity Act 2005: forms, supervision and fees,” which saw large scale changes being implemented from April 2009, the second stage is now underway. The MOJ has made proposals addressing areas of legislation and policy that in practice have not worked as well as intended. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) intends to implement the proposals from April 1, 2010 and is currently seeking views on the following:
- reducing the discovery period for a security bond (which a Court of Protection appointed deputy must put in place to ensure the client's assets are protected against any fraudulent or negligent loss), from seven years after the client's death, to two years;
- expanding the list of benefits that would qualify a customer for exemption from payment of OPG fees;
- enabling the Public Guardian to investigate enduring power of attorney (EPA) attorneys together with other interested parties;
- clarifying that a certified copy of an EPA will only be accepted if the original cannot be produced due to its being lost or destroyed;
- amending the “application for registering an EPA” form to allow for the registration of a certified copy only if the original cannot be produced due to its being lost or destroyed;
- amending the “notice of intention to apply for registration of an enduring power of attorney” form to require attorneys who are not joining in the application to register an EPA to be named.
The OPG would also like to use this consultation paper to seek initial views on a range of proposals around OPG fees. The consultation ends on 9 March 2010. More information and the consultation, can be accessed here.