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Record High Number of Lasting Power of Attorney's are Challenged

View profile for Joanne Druce
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Online Applications for Lasting Powers of Attorney are put under Scrutiny by The Office of The Public Guardian

An article in the Law Gazette stated that court action against people acting with power of attorney on behalf of vulnerable people jumped to record levels last year. The issue is that many lasting powers of attorney are created without professional advice, so the system is 'wide open to abuse'.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) made 721 applications to the Court of Protection to censure or remove attorneys in 2018/19. That was 55% up from the previous year’s total of 465.

The number of legal actions taken against people with power of attorney has more than doubled over the past two years. Making improper gifts and not acting in the vulnerable person’s best interests were two of the main reasons for having attorneys censured or removed.

In addition to these actions, the OPG launched 2,883 safeguarding investigations in 2018/19. That was 54% more than the previous year’s 1,871. 

The OPG is often tipped off by relatives, care homes and local authorities but these organisations have limited opportunities to identify whether inappropriate transfers have been made, or whether attorneys are really acting in the best interest of vulnerable people.

We recognise that many see the 'online experience' as a cheaper option when applying for and indeed creating legal documents such as a Lasting Power of Attorney or Will. What is not considered when making these online applications is the lack of experience and expertise a human can bring to the decision process. This is dramatically overlooked. 

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document designed to ensure that the donor is properly cared for in terms of their Health, Welfare and Financial provision.

There are two types, one covering decisions on the donor's  Health & Welfare and the second covering their  Financial side.  

We would strongly urge that you seek professional advice before parting with money and applying online. We offer discounts on certain services such as the making of a Will at the same time as applying for Lasting Powers of Attorney. It can all be completed simultaneously with complete peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be carried out. We often highlight something that youmay not have considered or anticipated. We are the experts and familiar with a whole host of varying situations that need to be addressed.

To find out more or to book an appointment please contact reception@fbarnes.co.uk

For full details of the article click Law Gazette