Ex-Judge Denzil Lush said that he would avoid using a Power of Attorney himself and those considering Lasting Power of Pttorneys should be “more aware of the risks.” He suggested deputyships as a preferred alternative. Cases where Power of Attorney were used to cheat vulnerable people out of their savings were cited. He had presided over the establishment of 6,000 Powers of Attorney himself during his career.
However Margaret Windram, associate, Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth, a legal and wealth advisory firm, said that Lasting Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Attorney still had a valuable role and should not be discarded. LPAs and EPAs are used by many Financial Planners as part of a long term holistic Financial Plan for clients.
She said: “Denzil Lush is a well-respected, recently retired Senior Judge in the Court of Protection who adjudicated on 6,000 Power of Attorney cases, and who should be listened to for his experience and common sense.
“He focuses on the Power of Attorneys – EPAs and LPAs – that go wrong and where such powers are abused. However, there are many positives to these arrangements.
“LPAs allow people to choose who will have power over their affairs, which in many cases give reassurance and confidence in case the need for help arises.
“There are special situations to consider if there is a jointly owned property or there are investments managed (or which might need to be looked after) by a discretionary fund manager.
“LPAs should not be taken lightly as they delegate major powers and can be misused.”
She said good legal advice should always be sought.
She added: “Deputyships are part of a valuable and necessary system, particularly to support survivors of serious personal injuries, but may not be required with a carefully considered LPA in place.”