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Powers of Attorney

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what representations he has received on the waiting period for the processing of an application for a lasting power of attorney; and if he will make a statement. (227393)

Since the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 in October 2007 the Public Guardian is responsible for registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney. One of the key safeguards of the registration process is the requirement for a statutory six-week waiting period for objections against registration to be made.

Representations were made to the Secretary of State for Justice by the President of Solicitors for the Elderly in June 2008, and by the President of the Law Society in July 2008, that the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) was failing to issue the required notice to start the waiting period in a timely manner.

The OPG is now issuing the notice required to start the waiting period within its published target of 10 working days. Where there are problems with an application for Lasting Power of Attorney, applicants are similarly notified within 10 working days.

The OPG has received representations generally about Lasting Powers of Attorney and will be looking at whether the current registration processes are proportionate and effective during the review of the implementation of the MCA launched earlier this month.