Professionals respond to LPA criticism

Industry professionals have responded to the critical comments made by a former Senior Judge on Lasting Power of Attorneys.

In an interview with the BBC, Denzil Lush stated that he would not sign an LPA himself after drawing attention to the system’s lack of safeguards as well as the impact it could have on familial relationships.

However, many industry experts have shared their view on the comments, with the majority stating that the root of any problems lie in the way that the LPAs are used rather than the documents themselves.

Taking this particular stance was Will Writer, Elaine Venning. She highlighted that much like any tool which provides power, challenges are always likely to arise; without accepting this, the benefits would not be felt.

‘Like any tool in the hands of the wise it works. In the hands of the ignorant or greedy what should protect becomes the very instrument of oppression.

‘Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

‘The question is how far can check and balance go? At what point is the simple trust factor essential? Or when should it be tested/doubted and what financial redress can be made if dishonesty is proven.

‘Just as there have been appalling cases of abuse and misplaced trust, there have also been families helped to care for elderly relatives without interference through the existing documents.

‘My late Father appreciated this element immensely. I’m not sure I would trust the judicial system any more than an ordinary individual. However, I note the BBC article refers to Enduring Powers of Attorney while for the last 10 years the Mental Capacity Act has given some redress on Lasting Powers of Attorney that have been in operation since 2007.

‘Perhaps what is needed is some form of accountability with all sums of over £500 in any one transaction or any standing orders/direct debits adding up to £500 in any one accounting period -and the period chosen should be set by the donor in the first place.’

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