Litigation

Lasting Power of Attorney Disputes

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Lasting Power of Attorney Disputes

We specialise in providing expert guidance and resolution strategies for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) disputes. LPA disputes can arise from a variety of circumstances, ranging from disagreements over decision-making to concerns about the conduct of appointed attorneys. 

What is Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) gives someone legal authority, typically a trusted friend, family member, or professional to make decisions on someone else’s behalf concerning their health, welfare, or financial matters. The donor is the person who chooses who should have LPA and the individual referred to as the "attorney," makes such decisions on the donor’s behalf.

 

When do disputes with power of attorney happen?

LPA disputes and disagreements often happen when the mental capacity of the donor is questioned. In other words, whether they were able to think clearly when they signed the LPA. 

Another reason why LPA disputes may come up is about how the person chosen to make decisions (the attorney) is handling things. These disagreements usually involve figuring out how the attorney spends money, decides on investments, manages the sale of the donor's property, arranges nursing care, deals with the donor's Will, and controls gifts for instance. Managing LPAs can be complicated. This is why it is a good idea to get legal help when setting up the LPA or when issues arise.

 

What happens if an attorney under an LPA abuses their position?

If you're worried about an attorney abusing their power, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is a good place to start. The OPG is able to properly investigate the matter. 

You can also report your concerns to the police if you believe it is a criminal matter. If you're directly involved, you can make an application to the Court of Protection to have the attorney removed.

An attorney can exploit their entrusted powers deliberately or without realising. In instances where an individual is granted Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), there may be a lack of comprehension regarding their role and legal responsibilities. This can lead to actions that deviate from the intended purpose without an awareness of the repercussions.

Various avenues exist for an attorney to misuse their authority, including making decisions contrary to the donor's best interests, mishandling the donor's financial resources or assets, neglecting the donor's well-being, or engaging in unlawful use of their powers. Some attorneys may leverage their position for personal financial gain, such as redirecting the donor's funds to themselves or transferring property into their own name.

 

How do you settle a power of attorney dispute?

You could settle a power of attorney dispute in a number of ways. Resolution of disputes is often possible through open discussions or mediation between the involved parties. You could also go to the Office of Public Guardian or the Court of Protection. 

Additionally, if you encounter issues with a business regarding power of attorney matters, it may be relevant to consider raising a complaint with the financial ombudsman. Common complaints arise when businesses refuse to engage with a designated attorney or there is a misunderstanding of the granted powers of an attorney, there are delays in processing power of attorney documentation, or when registration is made for power of attorney for the wrong account. 

 

It is a good idea to seek legal advice if you have a dispute with a lasting power of attorney to understand the best options to resolve the matter. 

 

How can GloverPriest help?

Our lasting power of attorney solicitors have extensive experience in all kinds of disputes and aim to assist with a quick resolution often without the need for a formal court procedure if possible.

 

Contact our lasting power of attorney solicitors

At GloverPriest, we provide friendly and transparent legal advice. If you would like further advice on lasting power of attorney dispute matters, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our expert solicitors today. Complete our enquiry form.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What happens if the lasting power of attorneys disagree?

Decisions made by a group of attorneys are supposed to be a collaborative effort, involving discussions and consensus among all parties involved. However, disagreements are inevitable whether they are a clash of personalities or beliefs or historical problems that resurface. While not every disagreement evolves into a full-blown dispute, emotions can run high in situations involving a loved one who has lost capacity or in the aftermath of a bereavement. 

Getting legal advice at an early stage will help to prevent matters from escalating and can assist in coming to an agreement more efficiently. If disputes become contentious, an application can be made to the court.

 

On what grounds can a power of attorney be challenged?

Challenging a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a serious step that requires genuine and reasonable grounds. Something small like a personality clash with an attorney is not considered sufficient, as it would compromise the autonomy of the individual who chose them for decision-making. 

There are a number of reasons why you could challenge a LPA such as lack of mental capacity, duress or coercion when creating the LPA or suspected fraud or incompetent attorneys that are untrustworthy to act in the best interests of the donor. 

 

How do you prove power of attorney abuse UK?

You can prove power of attorney abuse by providing any tangible evidence that supports your suspicion. This could include things like financial records, highlighting any irregularities, suspicious transactions, or misuse of funds, contracts, or agreements that may indicate foul play.

Submitting a comprehensive report is important for building a compelling case. This documentation not only outlines your concerns but also provides a foundation for any subsequent investigations or legal actions. It’s a good idea to get legal advice if you suspect LPA abuse so that you can act swiftly and collect the right supporting evidence. 

 

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The Team

Jonathan Peck

Head of Litigation

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Roxanne Speed

Paralegal

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