Local Solicitors Defend Lasting Powers of Attorney

Date: 
22 Aug 2017
Details: 

Following increasing negativity in the national press, Plymouth law firm, GA Solicitors, has come to the defence of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) and the benefits this legal document brings to individuals and their families.

Denzil Lush, former senior judge of the Court of Protection, has publically warned that Lasting Powers of Attorney may leave elderly people open to abuse. However Catherine Bailey, partner of GA Solicitors in Plymouth, strongly believes that with the right advice, powers of attorney can provide an effective safeguard for those in a vulnerable position.

An LPA is a powerful legal document that allows a person to appoint trusted individuals to make important decisions about care and finances on their behalf. It comes into effect in the event of loss of mental capacity through an accident or illness, such as dementia.

“Senior Judge Lush’s comments have given rise to fears that LPAs are a direct avenue for financial abuse.” says Catherine. “However, his comments must be put into context, as his 20-year career at the Court of Protection will have presented him with the very worst cases of financial abuse.

“An LPA can in fact be a positive and effective legal tool, ensuring your wishes are respected should you ever lose capacity. Judge Lush’s comments in fact highlight the clear need for professional advice when considering powerful legal documents of this nature.

“The key for a successful LPA is to appoint people who have a real interest in making sure the donor is looked after” continues Catherine.  “They should not be taken lightly as they delegate major powers and can be misused. Any good legal professional would detail this at the outset and ensure their client is not in a vulnerable position.”

Statistics from The Ministry of Justice show there are 2.5 million LPAs registered in England and Wales and only a small minority of these needed to be investigated. 1,260 concerns were raised about Power of Attorney cases in the last three months (about 5 in each 10,000).

Catherine Bailey is a partner of GA Solicitors and has been with the firm since 2002. She specialises in Lasting Powers of Attorneys, wills and the administration of estates. Catherine is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners).

With more than 200 years of heritage, GA Solicitors is a leading Plymouth law firm with 78 members of staff offering guidance across seven specialist departments: business; family; employment; dispute resolution; wills, trusts & probate; conveyancing and personal injury.

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