The Office of Public Guardians (OPG) has revealed that the number of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s) has fallen for the first time.
Figures released last week (29/11/21) showed that the number of LPA’s registered fell to 636,828 for the 12 months to tax year end in April 2021. That is over 220,000 less than the 2020-year end when 866,272 were registered. A fall of 27%.
This year has seen the lowest number of LPA’s registered for the last 5 years, where we have seen over 80% growth in registrations.
With an ever-ageing population this is a surprising trend, so why have the numbers fallen?
Covid-19 according to the OPG. It seems that the pandemic has meant that thousands of LPA applications have found themselves in a backlog as working practices have been affected. The OPG is working hard to fix the backlog and is hoping to introduce a new online application system soon. The hope is that this will streamline the process and also help with fraud prevention.
People will still need help with the process in our opinion as the form scan be difficult to navigate, which won’t really be improved with an online system. Submissions may become easier in the long term, however.
LPAs are really important tools in long term planning, and it is a real concern to see such high numbers in backlog.
So far this year we’ve helped our clients to submit over 20 applications and have certainly noticed the backlogs with the process now taking twenty weeks from application. That’s five months!