The restrictions we have been living under for so many months may be due to lift next Monday (19th July 2021), but it is by no means straight back to business as usual for everyone. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has struggled to keep on top of applications to register Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) throughout the pandemic and has now updated its guidance to state that applications could take up to an extraordinary 20 weeks to be processed.
The precise cause of this severe delay is unclear. Although the pandemic has helped to focus the mind on getting one's affairs in order, the latest Family Court statistics show that the number of LPA applications in the first three months of the year was down 18% on the same period last year. Perhaps staff absences due to isolation have decreased the OPG's capacity to deal with those applications they are receiving.
Whatever the reason for the delay, individuals should not be put off making LPAs. Having these documents in place can give great piece of mind for the future, both for the individual and their family, allowing the individual's affairs to be handled without the need for a potentially lengthy and expensive application to court. That's something that certainly seems worth the wait.
We are experiencing delays registering lasting powers of attorney. Please allow up to 20 weeks from receipt of your LPA for your application to be processed. We appreciate your patience during this time.