A recent report has highlighted that there has been a drop in LPA registrations as a result of the Covid Pandemic. Statistics, obtained by Canada Life, found that there was a 26.5% fall in the number of LPAs registered in 2020/21. Another report by the Telegraph claims that there is a large backlog at the Office of the Public Guardian, with the process of making an LPA application currently taking up to 20 weeks.
A closer look at the statistics reveals that a total of 636,628 registrations were completed during the 2020/21 Tax Year (ending April 2021), with the majority being property and finance LPAs.
It is currently estimated that over three-quarters (77%) of over 55s in the UK do not have an LPA registered. Whilst there may be concerns regarding a delay in the process, this high percentage is potentially concerning and goes some way to suggest a lack of awareness of the benefit of LPAs. There are also some indications that the fall in numbers is a result of the Covid pandemic and the disruption to the process of applying for an LPA that this may have caused.
Putting an LPA in place is a vital part of planning for your future. A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to nominate an individual/people to become your deputy/deputies should you no longer have the capacity to make decisions.
Officially documenting your choice of deputy to make decisions around the property and financial needs, along with important considerations around healthcare, goes a long way to ensuring your future needs will be met in line with your preferences if you are no longer able to make key decisions yourself.
A lack of capacity can come as a result of an accident or illness and can happen to anyone at any age.
The figures show there is clearly a need to increase awareness of the benefits of LPAs. By boosting knowledge, people can better prepare themselves as well as provide more certainty for their loved ones.
Jill Waddington is a Director specialising in private client law at O’Donnell Solicitors. Please contact Jill Waddington on 01457 761320 to arrange a convenient appointment to discuss LPAs or any aspect of planning for your future.