LPAs Haven’t Increased During Pandemic

A survey conducted by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) has revealed that only a small amount of people have been creating Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) as a result of the corona virus pandemic.

Only 5% of inheritance advisors had seen a big increase in the number of LPAs being set up. Begging the question, are some families ill-prepared should the worst happen?

Although, 22% of advisors had seen a small increase in LPAs due to the current crisis. The worrying factor was that 73% revealed they were seeing fewer enquiries or no increase at all.

As a result of this STEP are urging everyone to make an LPA as a precaution. After all they play a crucial role in looking after those who are vulnerable.

Emily Deane TEP, Technical Counsel at STEP, said: 

“These numbers are surprising and worrying given the current crisis. With the situation looking so unpredictable, we are encouraging those who can set up an LPA to do so. Some people may be worried about social distancing but it is still possible to set up an LPA through your advisor while continuing to observe the official guidelines.

“Families need to plan carefully and collaboratively, and individuals should not underestimate the responsibility bestowed upon the person acting as attorney. Careful consideration and diligent planning are needed to help ensure that they are the right person for the job, have the individual’s best interests at heart and will respect the values they hold, if and when they lose the capacity to make decisions.”  

The England and Wales Office of the Public Guardian has issued guidance on how advisors can help draw up LPAs, whilst still observing rules on social distancing, self-isolation and shielding, thus ensuring that everyone is safe and comfortable during the process.

The guidance states:

  • The signing and witnessing of the LPA can be done via the post, or if you live within walking distance, you could take the LPA to the people who need to sign – whilst keeping at least two metres and washing your hands before and after handling the LPA
  • Witnessing the donor and attorney’s signatures can be done by a neighbour on the doorstep, over the garden fence or through a closed window.

Have you seen an increase in the number of LPAs you’ve been asked to draw up?

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