Lockdown #3 is here for the foreseeable future and with advice for clinically vulnerable people now back in place to shield, and the new mutation being so much more infectious, many people will once again be reconfiguring their lives to protect themselves and their loved ones as much as possible - to minimise the need to have direct contact with outside people or agencies and to seek to stay at home as much as possible.
As we all know, there are some things that just cannot be done without third party engagement - and whether that is the need for physical attendance at the bank, the need to have a document witnessed by an independent third party or even the need to sit on the phone to speak to an organisation to resolve an issue - there are times when having a formally appointed representative would be so helpful - especially in the midst of a pandemic.
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) have issued a timely reminder that Lasting Powers of Attorney, where you can appoint people of your choice to be able to make decisions for you if you lack capacity, or in the case of finances, to be 'your arms, legs and voice' and act at your direction, can still be prepared and registered.
It is taking the OPG a little longer to register Lasting Powers of Attorney at the moment, so making sure that you have thought through and put these in place at the earliest opportunity is the best idea.
And despite the increased prevalence and transmission of Covid-19, signing off an LPA can still be undertaken safely, utilising all recommended safety procedures such as masks, use of outdoor space to sign where possible (and weather permitting!) and maintaining distance - whilst ensuring you can clearly see all that is going on. In addition, everyone bringing and using their own pen and using their own piece of paper as a barrier between their hands and the documents they are signing and washing hands or sanitising immediately after handing the documentation can all increase the safety of the process too.
If you would like further advice on preparing, registering or using a Lasting Power of Attorney, please do get in touch - LPAs really are an insurance policy offering peace of mind to ensure your choice of support will be available if you need.
On 4 January the Prime Minister announced a National Lockdown rules for all of England. See specific guidance for Wales. Making an LPA is an important decision that you should think about carefully. An LPA needs to be signed and witnessed by several people – please read our guidance on making an LPA during the coronavirus outbreak.