The number of court cases where individuals have disputed the use of Power of Attorney documents has increased by 71%. In 2017-18. The Office of the Public Guardian responsible for such documents, site improper gifts and not acting in the donor’s interest as the two main reasons.
Furthermore a 48% increase in the number of safeguarding investigations had been launched to protect a vulnerable adult, although it is understood that most misconduct by attorneys surfaces after the death of the donor.
An attorney acting under a Power of Attorney in Bristol or elsewhere must act in the donors best interests. It is often a caring professional or family member who will bring concerns to light but have limited legal capacity to make full investigations. It is also true that with DIY Power of Attorney documents, there is a lack of scrutiny to ensure the donor’s interests are truly protected. As a condition of the Power of Attorney for Property & Finance, it is essential that the attorney(s) must help the donor make as many of their own decisions as possible, even if they themselves consider them to be unwise ones.
The two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, namely Property & Finance and Health & Welfare, can provide an invaluable safety net for vulnerable adults in ensuring their rights are upheld and to maintain an independent life. The documents are far reaching and an attorney should only be nominated after careful consideration and in discussion with a person able to explain their far reaching implications.
As an additional to a previous article provided by Rose & Trust of Bristol, it is understood that only a fraction of those entitled to a rebate on past Power of Attorney fees have made such an application. Only around 200,000 had claimed by the middle of 2018, when almost 2 million applicants are entitled. The rebates apply to Powers of Attorney registered by the OPG between April 2013 and March 2017. If you would like more information on this please contact us on Bristol 0117 369 1969.
This concludes an outline of the increase in challenges of Power of Attorney across the UK. Rose & Trust of Bristol have considerable LPA experience and each document is unique to the donor.