Every private client solicitor, together with old age and mental health charities around the country, generally recommend people to make Power of Attorney arrangements. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal expression of trust where a person (known as the “donor”) grants someone else the ability to make decisions on their behalf.
It is vitally important when appointing an attorney that the donor appoints someone they trust implicitly and absolutely to manage their affairs. It is equally important that the attorney is appointed of the donor’s free will and no undue duress or pressure has been applied to the donor by the prospective attorneys. Involving a solicitor in this process is an important safeguard here.
Although we wholeheartedly agree that making Lasting Powers of Attorney is a good thing to do, unfortunately there are times when an appointed attorney turns out not to be the right person for the job.
If a donor wishes to remove one or more of their nominated Attorneys, they can prepare a partial deed of revocation and send it to the Office of the Public Guardian, together with the original Lasting Power of Attorney document. Provided the donor retains mental capacity, they are free to remove attorneys as they wish and the Courts do not become involved.
Problems arise in cases where a person has already lost mental capacity and one or more of their nominated attorneys is not managing their affairs properly. It could be that the attorneys are abusing their power by making decisions in their own interests rather than the donor’s. Alternatively it could be that the attorneys are simply incompetent. Please click here for warning signs of potential abuse. If this is the case, measures have to be taken to protect the donor. Often donors are not in a position to protect themselves or even complain about how their attorneys are acting.
In such a case, you can contact the Office of the Public Guardian and ask them to investigate your concerns.
Once there is sufficient evidence that the Attorneys are not acting properly, an application to the Court of Protection can be made. If the application is successful, the Lasting Power of Attorney will be cancelled and deputies will be appointed instead to manage the vulnerable person’s affairs. It is essential that legal advice is obtained before Court proceedings are started.
Perhaps you have made a Lasting Power of Attorney and now regret nominating a particular Attorney. Alternatively you may be concerned about the way a vulnerable family member’s affairs are being managed. Regardless of your concern, our specialist solicitors are able to assist. Contact us now on 0161 6155554 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, before it’s too late.