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Attorneys and Deputies Face Wider Scrutiny

According to the Telegraph, record numbers of people trusted to look after the finances of those lacking the mental capacity to do so are being struck off by the authorities

Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows that in 2013, 68 attorneys and deputies, essentially attorneys appointed by the Court of Protection, were removed because of financial mismanagement or alleged theft.'.

The figure rose to 203 in 2014 and fell slightly to 172 last year, but this still equates to a 153pc rise on 2013's levels. Over the same period the number of applications to register new lasting power of attorneys only rose by 73pc.

There has also been a steep rise in the investigations into attorneys and deputies over financial wrongdoing - from 487 in 2013, to 885 in 2015.

Subject to government putting enough money into the Office of Public Guardian, this trend towards striking out attorneys and deputies will continue.

There are four forces at play:

1 The increasing number of elderly people

2 The increasing number of LPAs being done as you can do it yourself and do need legal input.

3 The level of abuse. There has always been LPA/Deputy abuse - It is just more people doing it.

4 The Rise of the Internet meaning people are more likely to have knowledge and their rights so can complain to the OPG.

I advise attorneys and deputies; I think if you are one and acting in an ongoing situation, you can try to DIY without legal input if you have time and are confident that no one is going to complain. I think if you sense a relative/someone is going to complain, legal advice is sensible. 

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