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  • Emma Walsh

LPA uptake continues to surge in face of worsening delays

New research has revealed that the number of applications to register a power of attorney (POA) in England and Wales has continued to soar in spite of worsening delays at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

Data revealed in IRN Legal Research’s UK Wills, Probate & Trusts Market 2022: Market Trends Report shows the number of applications in Q1 and Q2 of 2022 sat at 399,109, 12.6% higher than the 354,606 seen in the same period last year.

The number of applications has risen year-on-year since 2016 with the exception of the 19.6% decrease in 2020 brought about by the pandemic. Numbers started to increase again in 2021 reaching 715,298, a 5.5% increase on 2020.

The data also confirmed that the overwhelming majority of POAs remain a lasting power of attorney (LPA).

Full data on the number of POAs applied for in England and Wales 2016-2022 can be seen in then recent 'Today's Wills and Probate' release.

As of 31st March 2022, there were over six million current POAs on the register of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), increasing from 5.3 million in the previous year. At the same point, the OPG was supervising 56,862 deputyship orders decreasing from 57,777 in the previous year.

While the number of POAs has increased in the latest year, the OPG states that the increase would have been greater if not for a lack of processing capacity at the OPG following Covid.

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