The number of people registering a lasting power of attorney (LPA) dropped by 30% during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
An LPA is a legal document citing who will be responsible for your financial welfare or personal care if you are no longer able to make these decisions.
As Covid hit it became more difficult to complete these forms which require the signatures of the person setting up the LPA, the certificate provider and the individual (or individuals) appointed as attorney. Donor and attorney signatures also needed to be independently witnessed.
However, guidance introduced to combat these difficulties now enables people, particularly those who might be shielding for health reasons, to complete these processes in a more Covid-secure way.
Tailor the LPA to you
You don’t need to be old or in ill-health, however, to set up an LPA. It can be set up so that your attorneys can start making decisions on your behalf straight away, or not until such time as you are deemed to have lost mental capacity.
In England and Wales LPA forms needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This process can take up to 20 weeks and costs £82.
Scotland and Northern Ireland
In Scotland residents need to apply for a Power of Attorney (PoA), which is registered with the OPG Scotland. In Northern Ireland an Enduring Power of Attorney can be registered through the Office of Care and Protection.