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Power of attorney abuses reach new high

View profile for Claire Read
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Power of attorney abuses have reached a new high, according to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) figures.

This is quite disturbing, but in our view is not that uncommon and is a salutary lesson to ensure that you choose the right people to help you with your financial affairs under a lasting power of attorney.

Questions to ask yourself before choosing an attorney

  • Are they good with money?
  • How do they manage their own finances?
  • Do you trust them? It’s like writing a blank cheque or giving someone your card and pin number!
  • Are there two people you can choose?  If so, they can then act as a check and balance against each other.

Personally, I do not feel that attorneys are suddenly becoming more dishonest. My view is that the OPG is picking up on these points because the documents are registered.

I still recommend having lasting powers of attorney in place because you can choose who is the right person. If you have friends or family members who are suitable and you trust them, it can make life so much easier for your loved ones.

However, if you pose the questions above and decide that your chosen attorneys are not too good with money, there are some safeguards you can put in place which means you still get to choose.

If you would like to discuss lasting powers of attorney then please contact me on 01245 453835 or claire.read@birkettlong.co.uk. I am a wills, trusts and probate lawyer, based in our Chelmsford office.

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