Lasting powers of attorneys (LPAs) are documents where a person, with capacity (the donor) , can appoint a person or people of their choice, to be able to take over decision making powers if the donor loses their capacity in the future.
To be used, LPAs have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Processing times for the registration to be completed have over doubled leaving people waiting longer to be able to support or get assistance from their appointed attorneys.
Whilst the OPG advise they are taking steps to reduce the backlog and reduce times, and a consultation has just finished on modernising the process and requirements to put an LPA in place, the current situation means many people are left in vulnerable and uncertain positions, relying on informal arrangements - and in extreme cases, facing waits without access to their own finances until registration has been completed.
Whilst the delays are frustrating and need to be addressed, the advice for people is clear - get your LPA in place and apply for registration as soon as possible - get the process started now. Leaving things until they are an essential can lead to problems, delays and extra (unnecessary) stress for all involved. But taking planned action well in advance can save time, heartache and provide peace of mind.
If you or someone you know would benefit from a conversation about an LPA, my colleagues and I would be delighted to assist.
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is currently taking an average of 82 days to register lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) in England and Wales, more than twice the OPG's official target time