25

Aug

Lasting Power of Attorney: The importance of selecting attorneys you trust

Denzil Lush, a retired U.K. senior judge, made comments last week claiming he would never register a lasting power of attorney (LPA) due to a lack of safeguards in the attorney process.

But are the comments made by Mr Lush plausible?

In this article we reiterate the benefits that having a property and financial LPA in place can bring, along with other tips to use when registering your LPA to minimise the chance of your attorney abusing their financial powers.

For additional advice or support on registering your lasting power of attorney, or any other of your estate planning requirements, then contact the experts at Future Planning Solutions by calling 01282 695 400 now.

What financial control will your appointed attorney have?

A property and financial LPA, also known as a financial decisions LPA, allows you to give somebody of your choice the power to make decisions on your financial affairs.

They will only receive these powers when you decide so, or when illness, injury or age reduce your mental capacity to a stage where you can no longer manage your financial affairs by yourself.

People register a property and financial LPA for peace of mind, knowing that their financial situation will be in the hands of somebody that they have chosen.

If you have taken out a property and financial LPA, when it is deemed appropriate your attorney will be able to make decisions such as:

  • Paying your bills (including household and medical)
  • Claiming or collecting any of your benefits
  • Maintaining any property you own
  • Selling any property you own

Because your appointed attorney(s) will also have access to your personal information and accounts, it is vital that the attorneys you select or both well-known and trustworthy.

The experts here at Future Planning Solutions believe that it is imperative to register an LPA as the benefits massively outweigh the risks, to find out why click here.

Financial abuse of an LPA

Unfortunately, as unethical and cruel as it is, as Mr Lush has pointed out financial abuse of a Lasting Power of Attorney can and has happened.

This is where an attorney takes advantage of a donor’s condition, and uses the powers which they have as an attorney to enhance their own personal financial gain.

However with stricter law amendments over recent years and the introduction of the Office of the Public Guardian in 2007 to combat LPA abuse, the likelihood of this situation occurring has been vastly reduced.

In addition to this, there are methods in which you can reduce the chances of financial abuse from an attorney when constructing your Lasting Power of Attorney.

Choose your attorney carefully

As long as they are aged 18 or over you can appoint anyone to act as your attorney, however most people choose a spouse/civil partner, relative, a close friend or a professional.

This is because it is vital that you know your attorney well, meaning you can rely on them only to use your finances to benefit your needs.

As well as this, it is also important that you select an attorney who is happy to act on your behalf, to ensure that they won’t leave their post as your attorney in the future and leave your welfare in the hands of the Court of Protection.

Moreover, you can also reduce the chances of financial abuse by appointing multiple attorneys to act on your behalf.

By doing this, if one attorney decides to make a decision on your behalf that doesn’t benefit you, other attorneys can step in to block the decision.

You can read more on the benefits of having multiple attorneys by clicking here.

Speak to the estate planning experts today

By having an expert solicitor to handle the process of constructing your Lasting Power of Attorney, you can be assured that the process will run as smoothly as possible, and your affairs will be managed by someone you can trust.

So speak to our specialist legal team today, by simply giving us a call on 01282 695 400 now.

Or, if you can’t speak over the phone at the moment you can request for us to contact you at a more convenient time by completing our online contact form.

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