Lawyers at Stone King LLP are stressing the importance of including legal safeguards when making a Lasting Powers of Attorney, following reports of over 116,000 suspected elderly fraud crimes over the last three years in the UK.
A recent ITV report (ITV - Elderly theft: robbing the relatives) highlighted cases of family members taking financial advantage of their elderly parents, including a case where a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) was in place. An LPA is a legal document that allows a person to appoint trusted individuals to make important decisions about their finances and property on their behalf. However, it is vital to ensure the right legal safeguards are put in place to avoid the risk of fraud. If an LPA is not in place, the Court of Protection would appoint a deputy to handle a person’s affairs should they no longer be able to do so themselves.
Kathryn Layzell, Senior Associate at Stone King, says: “We find that many of our clients prefer to choose who would manage their affairs if they no long can, but Lasting Powers of Attorney are complex documents. They allow someone to take control of another person’s bank account and property so it’s extremely important that such a significant document is properly drawn up with the right legal protection. For this reason we strongly recommend that anyone making an LPA speaks to a legal expert to make sure they are properly protected.”
Five of Stone King’s lawyers are members of Solicitors for the Elderly (http://www.sfe.legal/ ), a national organisation of more than 1,500 lawyers who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers. The organisation and its members work to protect and raise awareness of the risks facing their clients.
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