Latest insights from our experts
Financial abuse of Lasting Powers of Attorney on the rise
Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act has shown that the number of attorneys being removed from their role because of mismanaging the donor’s affairs is on the rise. As shown in a recent Telegraph article, instances of this nature have risen by 153% since 2013.A Lasting Power of Attorney allows a person (the ‘donor’) to appoint others (‘attorneys’) to step into their shoes and make decisions on the donor’s behalf, either with their consent or only when the donor does not have capacity to manage his or her own affairs. There are two types of LPA available: one for property and financial affairs and the other for health and welfare decisions.
Although attorneys owe the donor duties to act in their best interests and they may be removed or penalised for not acting in this way, there is no ongoing supervision of an attorney by the court. You may have heard of cases in the news when the attorneys have used the donor’s money for themselves, but it is sad to see such cases on the rise. This worrying trend shows that it is all-important to appoint those you trust, such as close friends or family members and professionals, as your attorneys and to keep these appointments under review.