40% surge in power of attorney investigations spark abuse concerns

Recent data has revealed that investigations into the actions of deputies and attorneys have grown by over 40% over the past year.

According to the Office of the Public Guardian, the 2017/18 financial year saw 1,729 investigations into the conduct of deputies and attorneys were undertaken, an increase of 530 since the previous year.

The publication of the figures is a result of a freedom of information request from Royal London, who are now calling for greater education around powers of attorney for the public.

Speaking to the Gazette, Ruth Pyatt drew attention to the increase in online and DIY LPA submissions, potentially leaving those most vulnerable open to abuse. The director of Solicitors for the Elderly said: ‘Creating an LPA without expert advice could result in thousands of pounds of costs later down the line to rectify mistakes, and leave people susceptible to financial abuse. Involving a solicitor in the process of creating and registering an LPA ensures that the donor’s best interests have been accounted for. It also ensures that a donor has considered all options and if necessary put in protection clauses in the LPA.’

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