A recent press report highlighted how investigations into the actions of attorneys and deputies appointed have soared by more than 40% in the past year.
Lasting Powers of Attorney allow 'attorneys' to act on behalf of those who appoint them, giving the attorney the authority to manage their personal and financial affairs where they no longer have the mental capacity to act for themselves. The attorneys are often individuals well known to and trusted by the party giving the authority.
It is no coincidence that this increase in investigations comes at a time where DIY and online submissions for LPAs are on the rise, according to Ruth Pyatt, director of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).
Whilst saving legal fees initially, DIY applications leave the donor at significant risk of their appointed attorneys making mistakes, or, in an increasing amount of cases - abusing their powers, leaving them significantly out of pocket in the long run.
When creating and registering an LPA, it really is a "no-brainer" to involve a solicitor. This ensures that the donor's best interests are well represented, that all options are considered and protection clauses added if necessary.
Commenting on the matter, Julie Sheldrake, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at Fosters Solicitors said "The rise in complaints about attorneys abusing their powers indicates a worrying trend that could leave many out of pocket further down the line. It is important that those considering making a LPA obtain legal advice to prevent this very risk".
Fosters have a dedicated team of qualified and experienced lawyers to advise you fully on lasting powers of attorney. For more information, please call our Wills, Trust and Probate department on 01603 620508, or email the team using the website enquiry form, or email us.