Increase in LPA registrations in 2023 – statistics reveal

Statistics from the Family Court reveal a notable surge in Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) registrations in 2023, surpassing a million for the first time.

The data, covering October to December 2023, indicates a 37% rise in registrations, credited to the streamlined online application process and the aging demographic.

Stacey Love, Technical Manager at Canada Life, acknowledges the simplified LPA registration but cautions that even a straightforward LPA can take up to 20 weeks to establish. She underscores the significance of LPAs as crucial legal instruments, empowering individuals to appoint trusted representatives to act on their behalf when they lack mental capacity.

In probate the process has shown improvements in efficiency compared to other grants of representation. During October to December 2023, probate grants were issued in approximately 14 weeks post-application submission, whereas letters of administration took around 23 weeks with a will and 17 weeks without. Despite this progress, the mean time for grant issuance remains relatively high, reflecting efforts to prioritise older cases.

What’s more, digital probate grants, constituting 65% of total grants issued, maintained the processing time of 10.2 weeks from application to submission and 7.9 weeks from document receipt to grant issuance. However, cases subject to delays saw an average issuance time of 23 weeks, highlighting challenges within the system.

Concerns over probate delays prompted a survey by Step in January 2024, revealing that all respondents had experienced case cancellations due to such delays. Registry errors and a shortage of senior staff for review were cited as primary causes for application setbacks.

In response to mounting concerns, the Justice Committee initiated an inquiry in November 2023 to address probate delays and enhance consumer protection. The inquiry aims to evaluate the support provided to beneficiaries, executors, and the bereaved during the probate process.

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