New data released by the Ministry of Justice has revealed that the number of lasting powers of attorney (LPA) registered in the first quarter of 2023 is up 33% on the same period last year.
Specifically, there were 269,537 LPAs registered between January and Match, with a further 1,477 enduring powers of attorney making up the full powers of attorney quota.
Of those registering powers of attorney, over half (57%) were from female donors whilst 41% were from male donors and over half (54%) were over 75 years old.
Note that the government said the sharp increase in LPAs seen during 2015 and 2016 was largely due to increased publicity and the new online forms introduced in July 2015 making it simpler and faster to apply.
LPA processing delays
Answering a parliamentary question from Labour MP Beth Winter earlier this year regarding LPA applications, Mike Freer, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, provided monthly data for 2022 and the beginning of 2023.
Freer revealed that the average time to register and dispatch an LPA application was at its highest in October, at just over 20 weeks (102.22 working days), which had since trended downwards to just under 18 weeks (89 working days) in February 2023.
As of April, the number of applications being dispatched in fewer than 10 weeks had remained under 1% for the last 12 months. However, there are clear signs of improvement on the other end of the spectrum regarding the number of applications taking more than 20 weeks to be dispatched.
Indeed, 13.8% and 13.9% of applications were delayed by nearly half a year in August and October of last year respectively. This figure has since come down to an average of 6.6% over December, January, and February.
Court of Protection activity
Interestingly, there were 1,554 applications relating to deprivation of liberty made in the most recent quarter, which is a decrease of 7% on the number made in the same quarter in 2022.
However, there was an increase by 58% in the orders made for deprivation of liberty over the same period from 656 to 1,035.
There was also an increase in both applications and orders under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). Specifically, there were 8,948 applications made in January to March 2023, up by 3%. During the same period there were 12,803 orders made, up by 14%.