Bennett Griffin respond to recent negative publicity around LPAs

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) have received widespread criticism in the press over the past week, following comments from former Senior Judge Denzil Lush, who 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/or finances on their behalf, in the event of a loss of mental capacity through an accident or illness such as dementia.

Ian Macara – Head of Bennett Griffin’s Care, Capacity and Court of Protection Department, and a member of national organisation Solicitors for the Elderly – said LPAs are effective safeguards when created responsibly:

“Senior Judge Lush’s comments have given rise to 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 your wishes can be respected should you ever lose capacity. Senior Judge Lush’s comments should highlight the clear need for professional advice when considering powerful legal documents of this nature.”

Here at Bennett Griffin, our Private Client Team approach has always been to emphasise:

  1. Careful bespoke drafting of LPAs rather than software generated LPAs on line without advice;
  2. Careful selection of Attorneys – honestly evaluating capabilities, trustworthiness and interaction with co-attorneys;
  3. Providing important Information/Advice at the outset to the Attorneys about their duties, the limitations on them, how to empower the donee and how to make best interest decisions.
  4. LPAs are important tools in a wider consideration of planning for later life on the contingencies of life.

If you would like to speak with a member of our specialist team in light of the recent press coverage of LPAs, or know any friends or family who would, please do contact Gema West on (01903) 706985 or Lucy Nevill on (01903) 706994, or by email at gw@bennett-griffin.co.uk or ln@bennett-griffin.co.uk, and quote LPA1.