Update on Lasting Powers of Attorney
The Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) have said that the demand for Lasting Powers of Attorneys (“LPAs”) has continued to increase since the spikes seen during the Covid-19 pandemic. As of 1 August 2023, the OPG are advising that it takes up to 20 weeks to register an LPA if there are no mistakes in the application.
Pre-pandemic, LPAs submitted for registration would take around 8 weeks to be processed. The OPG has stated that it is unlikely that LPA timescales will return to 8 weeks anytime soon.
Before your LPAs can be used by your Attorneys they must be registered with the OPG. It is therefore very important to ensure that your LPAs are sent to the OPG for registration as soon as they have been completed to avoid any unnecessary delays in the future.
Financial Decisions / General Power of Attorney
If you are waiting for your LPA in relation to your financial decisions to be registered and require assistance in the meantime, then you may wish to consider preparing a General Power of Attorney which would allow you to authorise someone to manage your financial affairs or do certain things on your behalf for a 12 months period and whilst you still have mental capacity.
It could therefore provide assistance if you are experiencing physical difficulties rather than mental capacity concerns.
Health and care decisions / Advanced Statement
If you are waiting for your LPA in relation to your health and care decisions to be registered and you are concerned about your wishes being followed in relation to your care, you could confirm your wishes in the form of an Advanced Statement.
This can cover any aspect of your future health or social care, for example – how you would like any religious or spiritual beliefs to be reflected in your care, where you would like to be cared for, (i.e. at home, in a hospital, a nursing home, or a hospice). An Advanced Statement is not legally binding but does allow you to make your wishes clear.
If you would like any further information in relation to Lasting Powers of Attorney or General Powers of Attorney, please do not hesitate to contact our Trusts and Estates team on 01244 354800 or email: Heather.Lally@dtmlegal.com or Hannah.Rogers@dtmlegal.com
This article is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide specific legal advice. It should not be relied upon in the absence of specific advice given in relation to particular circumstances.