Concerned an Attorney is abusing their power?
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) can be set up by individuals to name people who they trust to manage their affairs if they lose capacity.
If the individual who set up the power (known as the Donor) has capacity they can revoke the power if it becomes apparent to them that the people they have appointed as Attorney are no longer suitable for the role or have misused it.
However, if the donor has lost capacity it may be other people such as friends, family or professionals who have concerns about the appropriateness of the actions of the Attorneys.
Actions such as making inappropriate gifts or other financial abuse can be reported to the Office of the Public Guardian who can investigate the conduct of Attorneys and if necessary remove them from the position. The Office of the Public Guardian are only able to assist whist the Donor is alive, any concerns after the Donor has died should be investigated by the Executors who are in a position to bring claims on behalf of the estate.
A recent article by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) indicates that investigations are on the rise and that court action is at its highest ever levels.
It is essential that when Attorneys make decisions for donors who have lost capacity that they are acting in the Donor’s best interests. Good record keeping and a transparent financial management will help an Attorney in the event of an investigation or
accusation of misconduct.
For more information on Attorney Guidance please click here to view our Property & Financial Affairs LPA Leaflet.
If you are appointed as an Attorney and would like more advice about the scope of your role and best practice or you are an Executor who has a duty to investigate suspected abuse please contact our Wills Trusts and Probate Team on 01202 525333.
If you have concerns about the financial conduct of an Attorney you should contact Office of the Public Guardian on 0115 934 2777.