Posted: Friday, 20 November 2015 @ 08:55
Whilst the new simplified LPA process is a significant improvement on the previous regime, it is worth noting that LPAs remain subject to the risk of
fraud and abuse.
Indeed if someone is motivated enough they can do a great deal of financial damage to the people they are ostensibly in charge of and it requires one heck of lot of motivation and guile to expose them.
The new Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) process, provided
by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in July,
is intended to increase take-up of LPAs,
which is low, with only around 15% of people aged over 75 having one.
With more take up, there will be more abuse.
LPAs are a great tool to those that of lost of capacity.
However, put in the wrong hands, LPAs can enable someone to perpetuate fraud; The most dangerous people are those that understand the nature of the power, and are initially careful with how they distribute the money. In my experience, the problems with people who abuse LPAs is they tend to get complacent and their wrong doing will be exposed.
Options for those who have been wronged include complaining to the Office of Public Guardian(they are good but lack resources to target wrongdoing) and launching a targeted legal action which forces the opponent to disclose relevant documents. Sorry, the police will not be interested; However, once you obtain the documentary evidence of those rather questionable financial transactions, the damage will be done and then we can start to undo the damage.