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Is it possible to apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney during COVID-19?

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Is it possible to apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney during COVID-19?

In the last 5 years the number of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) applications made to the Office of Public Guardianship (OPG) has increased dramatically each year and they received just short of 900,000 applications in the last 12 months with there being slightly more applications for property and finance LPAs than health and welfare. It is clear that people want to ensure, and are becoming more aware of the need to, have an arrangement in place so that if they lost capacity then those appointed can act on their behalf.

With the government guidance in place many people have been asking if they can still successfully apply for an LPA. It is still possible and here is a checklist of how it can be done:

  1. After your LPA has been prepared you can have the document witnessed through a window. Many people are asking their neighbours to act as their witnesses by viewing them signing through a window or door
  2. Witnesses must just have a clear view of the person signing the LPA
  3. To be a witness you must be over 18, have mental capacity and not be an attorney or replacement attorney.
  4. Anyone who has known you for longer than 2 years in a personal capacity or has been a medical or professional advisor to you can act to provide a certificate of capacity on the LPAs
  5. Your attorneys and replacement attorneys can then sign the LPAs at a distance using the postal service
  6. On receipt of the LPA back this must be registered at the OPG

During the pandemic the number of applications is likely to increase and there may be a decrease in staff working in the OPG. Therefore, you should anticipate that the registration will take longer than the usual 8 weeks. However, applications can still be made to safeguard how your affairs are handled and we are able to have a no obligation discussion with you as to how this can be progressed.

About 22,000* Lasting Power of Attorney applications a year are rejected by the Office of Public Guardianship. Although it is possible to apply for an LPA yourself it is easy to make a mistake and have your application rejected or create an LPA which does not do what you want it to.

Our legal experts can talk through with you what you want, in a friendly way, without jargon. We can then prepare all of the documents for you, advise you on how to get them properly signed and witnessed then make the application for the LPA on your behalf. You do not need to come into our offices and everything can be done at your convenience. We provide a nationwide service. It is an easy and reassuring way to make sure that everything is done right.

For a no obligation chat to see if you need an LPA and how we can help you, please call our friendly team on 0161 696 6229 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our legal experts can also assist with related areas including making a Will, gifting property and the administration of an estate.

*22,000 ‘Which’ - FOI request