abdcare blog

IS IT THE CASE THAT LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY (LPA’S) ARE THE RIGHT SOLUTION?

23.08.2017

• LPA’s allow individuals to name others to help them in the management of their affairs if they should lose capacity or otherwise think they need assistance. LPA’S in their current form have been in existence since October 2007. They are arguably one of the most important tools for individuals as they get older.

• For an LPA to be valid it needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Currently some 2.5 million LPA’s and their predecessor documents Enduring Powers which are still valid are registered. 650,000 new LPA’s are registered every year.

• There are two types of LPA. The most common is for Property and Finance. This allows named Attorneys (you should name more than one in case an Attorney predeceases the maker of the LPA) to manage the makers affairs in respect of Property and Finance. The second type, less prevalent but arguably more important is for Health and Welfare. This LPA allows the makers Attorney’s to make decisions about a persons Health and Welfare with Doctors, Hospitals, Social Workers, Care Homes and others if you yourself are unable to do so. With this LPA you need to have actually lost capacity to the extent that you cannot make decisions for yourself about Health and Welfare.

• LPA’s sound the perfect solution for people who are getting older. A word of warning however from Denzil Lush, former senior judge in the Court of Protection and which is that you should never appoint Attorneys unless you absolutely trust them. This warning is against a backdrop overseen by him which is that an estimated one in eight LPA’s go badly wrong. This is because Attorney’s mostly sons and daughters of parents making LPA’s abuse their position. They do so by way of financial and other abuses against those they are supposed to be taking care of.

• It is the considered view of Denzil Lush, an acknowledged leading figure in his field that a better way of avoiding this type of problem is for people instead of making LPA’s to apply to the Court of Protection to have a Deputy appointed. This can be a person of the maker’s choice. The difference is that if a Deputy or Deputies are appointed they are supervised by the OPG and have to buy an insurance policy to cover off against wrong doings and mistakes. Deputies have to keep records and justify their spending.

• Short of the recommendation above an alternative would be for the OPG to run training classes for Attorneys which explain their duties and what they can and cannot do when assisting people under an LPA. Their should also be a requirement for Attorneys to submit reports annually. Presently this is not done. Bad abuses apart this is a main reason as to why Attorneys fall foul of the obligations and requirements that they are required to operate under.

• The above is an overview only.

For a free appointment and to find out answers to the questions that need answering and to get the care you or a loved one need email Andrew Douglas or his team on ajd@awdrys.co.uk or simply call us on 0800 072 8636.

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