Last month, The Financial Times’ Adviser reported on the dangers around Lasting Powers of Attorney, sending out a warning to ‘financial advisers’ who risk claims through poor advice, misuse, or abuse of their powers in relation to Lasting Powers of Attorney.
A Lasting Power of Attorney, or LPA, is a legal document which allows a person to choose someone else to manage their affairs for them, known as an ‘attorney’. This person can be a friend, relative, or a professional person.
5 dangerous myths about who looks after your health & wealth: your free guide
There are a lot of myths and assumptions around LPAs. We know that if you or someone you love are thinking about making an LPA, it can be difficult to tell fact from fiction. That’s why we’ve designed our myth-busting guide, completely free of charge for you to download.
Our guide explains:
- What a Lasting Power of Attorney is
- Legal Jargon around LPAs
- Who has control over your affairs
- Who needs an LPA
- If you need an LPA if you have a Will
- If attorneys change your Will
- Who makes financial decisions
- How your welfare is protected under an LPA
The FTA article outlines the ‘common mistakes’ of people who create their own LPAs online, under the guidance of a financial adviser. These mistakes include forgetting to put in safeguards, and failing to set up replacement attorneys, who could act if your main attorney were to die, become ill, or be otherwise unable to act for you.
The article states that ‘more people are making LPAs themselves online but one of the main reasons people take proper advice is so if things go wrong, they have an adviser to claim against’. In one example, ‘an LPA had been set up where the appointed attorney was a “trusted” next-door neighbour. In fact, the neighbour had been grooming the elderly client for such a purpose and had robbed the client of their funds. In this case, the family claimed against the adviser for compensation.’
These pitfalls can be avoided by using a solicitor experienced in creating and advising upon LPAs, rather than relying on advice from a non-legal adviser or creating a D-I-Y document.
Claims against financial advisers can be expensive and time consuming. Rather than relying on the idea that your family could can claim against an adviser should things go wrong, we would suggest that you use an experienced solicitor who you can trust to ensure that your Lasting Power of Attorney fulfills your exact wishes for your affairs. This is especially vital with an LPA, as it will only come into use if you have lost capacity.
Your LPA Consultation
We have been looking after the legal affairs of people in Sussex and beyond for over 125 years. When it comes to Lasting Powers of Attorney, it’s vital that you seek experienced help to ensure that:
- The right details are completed so that the LPA is valid – a rejection can result in extra costs
- The right powers are given to the right people
- The right information is given about your wishes, so your attorney can carry them out properly.
Your consultation can be in person at our offices, over Skype, or by telephone, to discuss the LPA process, your wishes, and how we can put them into effect.Schedule Appointment