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Court Moves To Mediation To Crack Down On LPA Problems

Posted: Thursday, 10 May 2018 @ 14:04

According to the Telegraph warring families are to be assigned mediators to stop to stop them fighting over power of attorney for loved ones.  A pilot scheme being run by the Office of the Public Guardian will fund professional help for families embroiled in disputes over issues such as inheritances or control of finances.

In some cases a vulnerable person who had chosen a relative such as a sibling, child or parent to make decisions on their behalf ends up in the control of the local authority or a professional because their family cannot get along. 

This is all well and good but it is too little and too late.

Mediation will give some opportunity to settle disputes which is welcome.

However, as the Telegraph also states in this piece -  Around 2.6m power of attorney agreements are currently active.

The number being registered has risen dramatically in the past decade. In 2008 57,947 were set up, which had risen to 454,840 by 2015.

In the first half of this year, 322,573 new powers of attorney were registered, compared to 263,184 in the same period of the previous year - an 18 per cent rise. Investigations into attorneys and deputies over financial wrongdoing almost doubled from 487 in 2013 to 885 in 2015.

In 2013, 68 attorneys and deputies were removed because of allegations of mismanagement or theft. This rose to 172 in 2015.

Given the high level of LPA agreements, the high value of property prices and the practical difficulty in proving fraud with an often indifferent court system and powerless police, the number of proven LPA frauds is really the tip of the iceberg but generally more mediation is welcome as a way to scrutinise dodgy conduct of LPAs.   

 

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