Solicitors call for action as they warn clients are dying while waiting for power of attorney to be granted
Delays: Solicitors claim it takes six months to register an application
Solicitors are calling for urgent action over power of attorney delays and warn clients are dying while waiting for this vital document.
They claim it takes six months to register an application due to a backlog at the Office for the Public Guardian (OPG).
And in a damning letter they say civil servants are making ‘unacceptable’ mistakes — including returning paperwork ripped or with pages missing. Power of attorney gives a family member or friend the legal authority to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf.
It previously took up to ten weeks to register. But there’s now a backlog of up to 200,000 applications.
Dozens of solicitors, estate planners and financial advisors signed the letter to the OPG. Katy Kirkland, of BEST, which organised the letter, says: ‘Disappointingly, no action seems to have been taken so far to improve these problems.’
An OPG spokesman says: ‘We have recruited more staff and teams have been working around the clock to reduce delays, with the number of LPAs registered each month now back to pre-pandemic levels.’