Office of the Public Guardian LPA top tips podcast

Office of the Public Guardian LPA top tips podcast


Welcome to lasting powers of attorney top tips Office of the Public Guardian podcast. My name is Laura and I work in
the communications team. Thank you for choosing to listen. I’m here today with Arooj and Paul, if you’d like to introduce yourselves? Hi my name is Aooj. Hello
my name is Paul. What are your roles here? We work on what’s called the
digital processing team and we take the applications when they arrive and we
prepare them to be scanned and any basic errors and then they get keyed on to the
system which is called Sirius. Lovely thank you. So we’re here today to give you
some top tips on filling in a Lasting Power of Attorney document or an LPA
document, what to do, what not to do and where we find some of our most common
mistakes. So want to improve the application process to be as quick and
smooth as possible. To begin with can you tell me just how many
applications you deal with on a day to day basis? Well, in simple terms, in around a 20 day month we receive 4,000 applications a day, that can
be around 80,000 applications in any given month. Each year LPA application
numbers are increasing. From 2017 to 2018 we did around 771,000 and 2018 and to this year 2019 we did 825,000 applications. That’s a lot of applications. Yes. So how often do you come
across an application which is for, whatever reason, incorrect? To be honest
it’s around 15 to 20 percent of the applications that we receive are
imperfect for one or many other reasons. So what is your biggest pet peeve when
it comes to receiving LPA applications? These definitely bound
applications we have quite a big industrial scanners that if the pages
are separate that will go through at an extremely quick rate and we can process
180 applications in an hour. Whereas, if they’re coming bound we have to scan
each individual page separately and this reduces efficiency on scanning them and
these we can only manage about 10 or 11 per hour. Okay, that’s a really big difference in
between. It is. And that’s just when they put their banding on the side of document
isn’t it? Yes, yes another main one is the industrial staples we try and take
out the staples so they can go through the industrial scanners but obviously
the big industrial staples tend to rip the paper when we try and take them out
so if they’ve used just ordinary staples just to hold it together or a paper clip
that will be easier for us. Okay, so if people are sending applications just
don’t staple them together. Preferably yes. Just try and keep with a paper
clip or something. Yes and for solicitors if they could give us a separate letter from
them for each application rather than putting either two or four
applications on one letter because that we will then have to photocopy the
letter and put it with each individual application. So if someone’s doing a
health and welfare and a finance and property all together, you’d want two
separate. Two separate letters from them. Okay lovely so you’ve mentioned
part of process when applications submitted it goes through the scanners
and things, can you talk us through sort of, like the entire process from
start to finish? Yes, well the when the post is delivered
the post room team will open up all the envelopes and batch them into batches of
20 this makes it easier for us to deal with rather than hundreds all at once.
These get arranged together hopefully any spouse applications will be kept
together but we can’t guarantee that because sometimes one partner might be
applying for exemption or remission and that would be dealt with by different
team so the 20 applications come to us we will then look at them take out any
staples or whatever and we have to insert pages with barcodes on to
identify the difference between old-style applications and the new style
applications so the system itself can identify the difference when it goes onto Sirius which is our digital processing software. The basic checks are made at
that point to identify any mixed pages or if there’s any photocopies or if
some person has used Tippex. We put all that together in the batch of 20 and that
goes the scanning team as I say that goes through large industrial scanners
and we can get to a batch of 20 in less than 5 minutes once that has happened
the scanner tries to pick up as much information from the image as possible
and we have software that identifies writing obviously if it’s typed it’s
better for us because the identification software complete that’ll be easier that
goes into our software and people will then go through and check the
information is then correct they will change anything that the system hasn’t
been able to pick up properly so that the information goes on to Sirius
correctly and that’s basically what we do they will then be checked by a
caseworker that will check dates and things and all of that and then it will
after the four or six-week waiting period if nobody objects to the application
then get that then gets registered and sent back to whoever made the
application in the first place. Cool and there is actually an online system now
we can track the LPA and you can find out more about that on our website
that’s Gov.uk/opg and you can type in the information and just see
whereabouts on the timeline your applications got to which is really
useful too so what are the common imperfections you can come across on a
day-to-day basis you’ve already kind of mentioned Tippex well what else have we
got on these applications which cause some issues? The most common one is with
the certificate provider section which is section 10 the certificate provider
must be an impartial person so that means they cannot be related to the
donor or an attorney and that’s where most people go wrong. Other general
errors we get are if mainly on the health and welfare application about a
fifth of those errors come in because there are two sections to fill in its an
either, or you fill in one or the other and some people fill in
neither but most commonly they’re fill in both, yeah, which causes it to be
imperfect and has to be sent back for another copy. Signing in the wrong order
is a fairly common one as well if everybody signs it on the same day that
would remove that complication, obviously, there are instances where
people cannot sign on the same day, they live abroad, or they’re away, so you must
make sure that they are signed in the correct order and dated that way not
witnessing the signature is another one, mixed pages again, where the person
if there’s a spouse application as well the pages have got mix between the spouse case so that the donor section 11 which is for the applicant is in their own
case rather than in the spouse case. This is very common. We get we get a lot of those. Yea, so it’s really
just to take care and make sure that the pages are for the correct application
and they’re not mixed between the two types of property and finance and health
and welfare. So, can i just add, we also have a lot of sticky notes already on there
that delays a lot of things as well. Oh cellotape as well on the
application that makes a very imperfect for us. So people cellotaping
notes and things around, yeah yes, basically saying oh don’t forget to sign this and leaving them on there. Yeah, a lot of the applications which come from solicitors the assistants have marked
with a removable tag where the persons are signing, and that’s great, but they
must sign in the box not on the tag itself. Okay. Preferably remove the
tag once they have signed. Yes, just being extra careful. So you’ve mentioned on the health and welfare one around sort of mixing up those extra bits so either not
filling in any of them or filling in both of them, so what happens if the
instructions on those things aren’t clear? So they have filled it in, but have
been quite vague what happens? If the instructions are not clear like
the donor completes both options then the LPA would be invalid for us the
Court of Protection has ruled that the error is a material difference this
means the LPA is not in the prescribed form and has not been in
accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 schedule one. So if that happens
we have to send it back to them? Straight back. And start again. Yes, start anew. It’s good to make sure you pay extra attention to those bits Why do we need to make sure all these
things are done? What happens if we don’t check dates and signatures and things
like that we just let it all go through? Well it just delays a lot of work doesn’t
it? Yes, it get to the caseworker stage and the caseworker is
then checking this and they will then have to write out to whoever made the
application be it the donor or the attorney to get things sorted out which
may mean them having to send in extra pieces of paper, extra applications or
brand new applications completely which will delay the process for them and we
do occasionally get applications which is quite urgent
because the donor is terminally ill and if they want this process quickly the
less errors they can make on it the easier it is for us to get it done
quickly and get it back. It would be nice of them to double-check before sending
it to us. It really is a question of taking your time with checking
everything, reading the instructions that come with the application and following
those to the letter rather than just assuming oh well I know what i’m doing and then going away and making that basic mistake which cost them time and us time. And
to use a pen and ink when signing the application because we do get a lot of
signatures, yeah okay, that makes it invalid as well. That’s all we have time for today so I’d like to thank my
speakers Arooj and Paul. Today we’ve talked about lasting power of attorney
applications and the common errors we come across on a daily basis we’ve
covered all this and that hopes that you’ll understand a little better the
process of LPA applications and how we can work together to improve the process. If you’d like to know more we have other podcasts you can listen to and find by
searching for us on Youtube. If you would like to keep up to date on what’s
happening at the Office of the Public Guardian then feel free to get in touch
you can go online and Gov.uk/opg or you can follow us on twitter @OPGGovUK if you have any queries email us at [email protected] or call us on 0300 456 0300 five six zero three hundred

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