Nearly 30,000 Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) applications were rejected by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in 2022-23 due to mistakes. 
An LPA is a legal document where one person (the donor) gives another person the right to make decisions on their behalf on an ongoing basis. 
The Freedom of Information request by Quilter, a wealth management company, also found that the average time taken for the OPG to register and dispatch applications was 91.5 working days. 
Here, ‘Which’ outlines the most common reasons LPAs are rejected in England and Wales (rules are different in Scotland and Northern Ireland) and how long you can expect it to take. 

How many LPAs have been rejected? 

A Lasting Power of Attorney is the most common arrangement in England and Wales, and there are two types: 
Property and financial affairs, which allows the attorney to make decisions about bank accounts, money management, and property owned by the donor. 
Health and welfare, which allows the attorney to make decisions about health care and medical treatment. 
According to Quilter, 29,124 LPAs were rejected due to mistakes in 2022-23, and of these, 17,007 were to do with property and financial affairs. 
In the last five years, 127,848 have been rejected in total. 
Rejected LPA 
Health and Welfare 
Property and Financial affairs 

How many LPAs were registered in 2022? 

According to the FOI, there were 777,741 registered applications in 2022. 
This is still 8% lower than they were during the same period in 2019 (pre-pandemic) when 842,778 applications were registered. 

How long does it take to register an LPA? 

The OPG, which is responsible for processing POA applications, said that people should allow up to 20 weeks for it to be registered. Before the pandemic, the average timeframe was around 10 weeks. The FOI revealed the average time in 2022-23 was 91.5 working days. 
The shortest period recorded was 20 days, and this was for highly urgent cases, but the longest case took 983 days as the case had to be referred to the Court of Protection. 
So it’s important to make sure your document doesn't contain any mistakes, which would further slow down the process. 

Not all are errors picked up 

However, this only considers LPAs that were rejected outright by the OPG, but there may be thousands more, according to Which? Wills solicitor James Buchan. 
This is because if you decide to appoint your friend Carole as an attorney, but the LPA showed it as Carol, with no 'e', the OPG wouldn't know this is incorrect and register it. 
But when Carole goes to the bank with the LPA to register it, the bank would reject it as it wouldn't match her ID. 

5 reasons your Lasting Power of Attorney might be rejected. 

Signing the form in the wrong order 

You’ll be told on the form who has to sign it first, then who next. The donor must sign the LPAs first, then the certificate provider, then the attorneys, and thereafter, the person registering the LPA must sign again (either the attorney or the donor). 

Not providing full names 

You’ll need to provide your full name including middle names, and not just your initial and surname. 
You’ll also have to use full addresses and dates of birth. 

Missing information 

If your LPA is missing information, it won’t be approved, this also includes the date. If signatures or details are missing that make it legally invalid, it won’t be registered. As there are quite a few pages, you should check the numbering and make sure they're all there. 

Signing the form in the wrong order 

The donor might appoint attorneys to make decisions one way but then include instructions that contradict this. For example, if you have three attorneys appointed in your LPA, and the LPA says attorneys should act ‘jointly and severally’, you can't then include an instruction in the LPA to say that decisions are made by majority vote, as by acting jointly and severally, all of the Attorneys have equal power to act and make decisions. 
This is the most important part of the LPAs which is why you should seek professional advice and avoid DIY Power of Attorneys. 

Incorrect witnesses 

The document has to be signed and witnessed, but parties often use witnesses who aren't allowed to be used. 
For example, an attorney can't witness the signature of a donor because there is a conflict of interest in doing so. 
Share this post:
Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings