Lasting Powers of Attorney – a warning?

Former senior judge of the Court of Protection Denzil Lush recently commented on Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), warning that they may leave the elderly at risk of financial abuse.

However, when put into context, Lush’s fears most likely arise from a 20-year career in the Court of Protection, where he will have encountered the worst cases of abuse.

When created responsibly, it is overwhelmingly clear that LPAs are effective safeguards. With professional advice from a solicitor, LPAs can ensure that a person’s wishes are adhered to if they ever lose the capacity to independently make decisions relating to their affairs.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

An LPA is a legal document that allows a person to select someone to manage their financial affairs or make care-related decisions on their behalf if they become unable to do so themselves, either through an accident or an illness such as dementia. Attorneys are not supervised on an ongoing basis so it is important to appoint those who you trust to act in this role.

What is Deputyship?

When a person is no longer able to make decisions for themselves due to an accident or illness, if they do not have an LPA in place, a family member can obtain Deputyship by submitting an application to the Court of Protection. The deputy is then legally responsible for the person that lacks capacity. The level of supervision over deputies is greater than that over attorneys.

What is the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection makes decisions for those who lack the capacity to make property, financial and personal welfare decisions for themselves.

Emsleys Solicitors’ Wills & Probate team are members of Solicitors for the Elderly and are Dementia Friends. They are experienced in providing specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, as well as their families and carers. If you would like to discuss LPAs, call 0113 201 4900 for a free, initial consultation.

Helen Gott

Written by

Helen Gott

Director & Head of Wills & Probate

Helen is a solicitor, Director and Head of the Wills & Probate department at Emsleys Solicitors. Since qualifying in 2010, Helen has specialised exclusively in the area of Wills & Probate and is described as "very knowledgeable" in The Legal 500 2018-19. Helen is an expert in wills,...

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