Disputed Powers of Attorney: Lasting Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Attorney.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document which effectively hands over the power to manage your financial affairs to another person who is then known as your “attorney”.
A Power of Attorney can be used when it is easier for the person granting the power (the principal) not to act for themselves or where they cannot do so. For example a parent could be made an attorney for a son or daughter who is abroad with the armed forces so that they can keep their finances in order whilst they are away.
If you need an attorney to act for you if and when you become mentally incapacitated then a different Power of Attorney is required, known as a Lasting Power of Attorney. A Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used until it is registered with the Court of Protection. The Lasting Power of Attorney replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney in October 2007. The Enduring Power of Attorney was vulnerable to abuse and fraud because although it should have been registered with the Court of Protection at the point the principal became incapacitated this was not always done. Registration formalities were rarely questioned by institutions requiring sight of an EPA in order to deal with an attorney. The new Lasting Power of Attorney avoids this problem because the Power will not be valid until it is registered. However, Enduring Powers of Attorney will still be in existence for many years to come and so abuses by attorneys will continue to arise.
If you require advice on setting up a Power of Attorney that will suit your specific needs then give us a call. Alternatively, if you believe that a Power of Attorney has been signed in inappropriate circumstances, for example under duress, and you wish to challenge the attorney on their appointment or on specific actions that they have taken then we can advise you. We can even apply to the Court of Protection on your behalf to request a review of what the attorney has done.
The combination of our caring approach and specialist expertise in the provision of legal services in this area will give you peace of mind.