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LPAs: Safeguarding the client or facilitating abuse by attorneys?

The increase in people registering LPAs is heartening, but there are concerns that some attorneys are taking advantage of the ease with which they can be prepared, warns Ann Stanyer

15 June 2017

In the last few years the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has reported a significant increase in the number of lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) registered. To coincide with the UN’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day today, it is worth reflecting on whether the much-heralded LPAs are still able to provide the necessary protective measures which the government introduced back in 2005 with the passing of the Mental Capacity Act.

The 2015/16 OPG annual report showed that a total of 533,229 LPAs were registered with the OPG in that year. This was an increase of 36.31 per cent over the previous year. There is reason to be heartened that so many are executing LPAs and having them registered. LPAs provide a legal framework for delegating decision making which will endure through a donor’s mental incapacity. There is now, however, a concern that some attorneys are taking advantage of th...

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