Judge calls for changes in Lasting Power of Attorney Rules
In order for a Lasting Power of Attorney to be effective it must be registered with The Office of the Public Guardian.. At present the rulesrequire that the Public Guardian allows a six-week waiting period to enable any objections to the registration to be made. The Office of the Public Guardian has proposed that this period should be reduced to 4 weeks, but the Senior Judge at the Court of Protection has called for the statutory waiting period to be abolished entirely.
The Judge pointed out that in 2011 The Office of the Public Guardian received 174,214 applications to register Lasting Powers of Attorney. However only 107 applications objecting to a registration were received. The Judge suggested that it was perverse to delay registration by 6 weeks, potentially causing inconvenience and difficulty to the makers of the Lasting Powers of Attorney, when the objection rate was only approximately 0.06%. The Judge added “The waiting period serves no useful purpose and I would recommend that it be abolished entirely.”
The Judge also drew attention to the number of applications being made to the Court of Protection where The Office of the Public Guardian considers that a clause in the Lasting Power of Attorney is invalid. These applications have more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. This increase clearly demonstrates the importance of ensuring that the Lasting Power Attorney is properly prepared.
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