Worcestershire solicitor defends lasting powers of attorney
Worcestershire lawyer Amanda Piper from county firm mfg Solicitors has defended lasting powers of attorney (LPA) after Denzil Lush, the former Senior Judge of the Court of Protection, warned they may leave elderly people open to abuse.
An LPA is a powerful legal document that allows a person to appoint trusted individuals to make important decisions about care and finances on their behalf, in the event of a loss of mental capacity through an accident or illness such as dementia.
In the foreword to a new book on the subject, Mr Lush raised concerns about the “lack of transparency” in how appointed attorneys manage older people’s finances. The former judge went on to criticise the Ministry of Justice as being “disingenuous” in its promotion of the legal document.
However, Mrs Piper said backed by the right advice, LPAs are effective safeguards when created responsibly.
She said: “Senior Judge Lush’s comments have wrongly increased fears that LPAs are a direct avenue for financial abuse. However, his comments must be put into context, as his 20-year career at the Court of Protection will have presented him with the very worst cases of financial abuse.
“An LPA can be a positive and effective legal tool, which ensures someone’s wishes are respected should they ever lose capacity. They are used widely and successfully here in Worcestershire and across the country.
“Senior Judge Lush’s comments should highlight the clear need for professional advice when considering important legal documents such as an LPA.”