The Financial Times recently reported
a 71% rise in the number of court actions against people acting under a lasting power of attorney (LPA's) for vulnerable people.
Previously there were 272 applications to the court of protection to censure or remove attorneys. In 2017-18 this increased to 465. The main reason for these actions is due to people making improper gifts and not acting in the vulnerable person's best interests.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity and are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. It's imperative that you appoint an attorney that you trust implicitly to act on your behalf with your best interest at mind.
Research unveils that the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) found that safeguarding investigations where a vulnerable person was at risk from their nominated attorney increased 48.9% from the previous year.
Due to the growing problem of attorneys abusing their appointment, it's clear there is a lack of understanding, they have to act on the interests of the vulnerable person and cannot second guess their wishes.
From research, it's clear that it is difficult to see this misconduct, OPG is often tipped off by relatives, care homes and local authorities. However, these organisations have limited capacity to identify if an inappropriate transfer is made.
If you suspect someone is abusing their appointment of an attorney and not making decisions appropriately on behalf of their vulnerable person, then contact us. At John Fowlers we have a team of Court of Protection Solicitors
who are here to advise and guide you throughout this process.