We often get asked how long does it take for work to be completed. The answer can depend on you and the work you do with us. Basic Wills can be completed far quicker than Lasting Powers of Attorney or first registration of deeds. Once we need to involve a third party such as the Office of the Public Guardian or the Land Registry time scales can change again.
We keep extensive records of when our clients work was sent to the Land Registry and the Office of the Public Guardian so we can monitor and continue to update the timescales we provide our clients.
The Office of the Public Guardian currently states that it will take up to 20 weeks from them receiving a Lasting Power of Attorney to registering it (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-office-of-the-public-guardian-response ). We are experiencing this to be more like 14-16 weeks. It will, however, take longer for us to receive the final documents. It can take 4 – 5 weeks from registration until we received the registered documents at our office.
Therefore it really can take 20 weeks or more from the document leaving our office to returning fully registered.
The Land Registry is also experiencing delays. If you are transferring your property, either into joint names or to a Trust then this work currently takes approximately 4 months to complete. In September the Land Registry stated this was taking approximately 13 weeks (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-impact-on-hm-land-registrys-services ) We have, however, seen a significant increase in the time it takes since then.
If you are severing your joint tenancy, for example if you are taking out Protective Property Trust Wills, then the Land Registry is taking between 8 – 12 weeks to complete these applications.
Unfortunately these timescales also fluctuate and we receive no notice of their fluctuations. Therefore it is important we continue to monitor timescales so we can advise our clients.
Of course, these timescales refer to how long the work the Land Registry and Office of the Public Guardian will take. This only applies once you have completed your documents with us. We aim to provide you with your draft documents within a week of your confirming our advice letter and your final documents for signing within a week of receiving confirmation your drafts are all approved. The rest really is down to you. We have taken Wills from instruction to completion in a matter of days, but it can also take much longer.
What we will do is ensure that we keep you updated throughout so you should always know what is happening and when.