Record Number of Cases against persons

abusing Power of Attorney

A survey carried out by a UK Law Firm has found that the number of Court Actions against persons abusing or misusing Powers of Attorney against the interests of vulnerable parties has rocketed.

It is contended that as many enduring Powers of Attorney are made without professional advice, same are wide open to abuse.

In the year 2018/19 the UK Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) made a record 721 Applications to the Court of Protection to censure or remove Attorneys which is a 55% increase on the previous year.

The main reasons citied for the number of Applications and Court cases against Attorneys were the making of improper gifts and not acting in the best interests of the vulnerable persons. Furthermore in 2018/19 the OPG initiated 2,833 safeguarding investigations which again was an increase of 54% on the previous year.

An interesting aspect of the survey was that the majority of misconduct by Attorneys only comes to light after the demise of the donors.

Most of the information leading to investigations comes from relatives, Local Authorities or Care Homes. The impression given is that the number of cases brought represent only a fraction of the amount of actual misuse/abuse of Power of Attorney as the majority of cases are not detected due in particular to the fact that most financial transactions are now online and difficult to detect unless reported and because the donors have generally died before the abuse is detected.

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This document is for information purposes only and does not purport to represent legal advice.  
© O’Rourke Reid 2019