Tuesday, January 21, 2014
A UK government survey has revealed that 18% of UK people do not use the Internet. The percentage continues to increase to 30% for those between the ages of 55 and 64. The percentage is even higher reaching 40% for those above age 65. There is a growing concern that the elderly will have problems with the new trial system, which has put legal processes online. The potential confusion that the elderly would encounter would mean they would have to pursue face-to-face meetings with their attorneys instead of the cheaper alternative.
Despite the reported 82% of people in the UK that are online, there are several drawbacks to this digital push. One is the lack of personal interaction that the digital process embraces. Another is digitizing documents such as a Legal Power of Attorney could enable fraud. These concerns have been brought to the Office of Public Guardian, which is in charge of protecting people without capacity now and in the future. The office has mentioned that there will be checks and security for any online Legal Power of Attorney documents, but have not expressed what those would be.
See John-Paul Dennis, Digital Dilemma, Law Gazette, Jan. 20, 2014.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.