25/04/2023 by Northwood Banks & Co
Offering reassurance and security despite Court and Registry delays
One of the key reasons people prepare their Lasting Powers of Attorney is reassurance.
People want to be reassured that, no matter what happens, their wishes will be followed, and they will not face additional disruption. This is also true when it comes to property matters. Many of our customers take the decision to sever as Joint Tenants and own their property as Tenants in Common allowing them to create a Protective Property Trust within their Will which protects their property for their loved ones.
Once these plans, and others like them, are in place families can be reassured that these issues have been taken care of. In all these situations where we have been instructed to do so, once documents are signed, we act promptly to pass on these instructions to the relevant authorities.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian to become valid, and unfortunately this Government body is still suffering from long delays. For a variety of reasons, dating back to the first lockdown, the registration period has now lengthened to a minimum of 20 weeks.
We cannot see these delays shortening any time soon, so our advice is that; it is better to get your Lasting Powers of Attorney completed and submit it for registration sooner rather than later. With the documentation in the system, it will progress through to registration and can then be made use of by your chosen attorneys should the need arise.
Court of Protection - Deputyship Order
It is also worth noting that should an individual lose physical or mental capacity anyone who knows them, but may not be a person they would choose, can apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. However, this process is considerably more expensive than arranging for a Lasting Power of Attorney and takes noticeably longer. Current applications are taking well over a year for a Deputyship Order. This is another reason that Lasting Powers of Attorney are the better option.
Joint Ownership to Tenants in Common
The situation when it comes to properties, and the severance of Joint Ownership to Tenants in Common is more reassuring. Once the documents have been signed and verified the instructions regarding the property become immediately valid. However, we advise that to ensure the process is complete and cannot be disrupted or challenged, the instruction to sever a tenancy for example, should be submitted to the Land Registry.
This Government department is also suffering from long delays, with routine transactions taking as long as 6 months to register with registrations of unregistered property taking around 18 months. We advise that documentation should be submitted promptly as we believe these delays will also not ease any time soon. Although, in this case our customers can be reassured that their intentions are legal and complete once their documents have been signed and dated correctly.
Contact With Government Bodies
Our legal teams are in constant contact with the Office of the Public Guardian, the Court of Protection, the Land Registry, and other Government Departments to monitor these situations and ensure our customers get accurate and timely updates.