A new financial product has become available that protects people who have chosen to make a Power of Attorney. The bond is designed to provide peace of mind when someone else is given financial control over your finances and assets.
Appointing an attorney
When you appoint an attorney to make decisions on your behalf, you place a huge amount of trust in that person and they must act in accordance with the rules of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its Code of Practice. Over recent years however, there has been an increase in cases of financial abuse by attorneys. ‘Carer stole thousands from her terminally ill father-in-law to spend on mobile phones and car” and “Daughter jailed for stealing £80,000 from her elderly mum with dementia” are just two examples.
Financial abuse under Powers of Attorney
Whilst most attorneys will respect the Donor’s wishes, when there are personal (financial or social) pressures combined with other factors such as old age, disability or ill-health this may make someone more vulnerable to potential financial abuse by a person they trust. Often it is close family members, carers or those in a trusted professional capacity who commit financial abuse.
Power of Attorney Bond
The Power of Attorney bond offers donors peace of mind that financial assets are always protected but also if an attorney acts prematurely or becomes bankrupt during the tenure of the LPA and fails to report. The bond also offers attorneys peace of mind for an honest mistake, which can happen.
What happens if money is taken and spent?
Sadly, this can mean that the money is lost forever. For nearly forty years surety bonds have played an important part in completing the circle of care for vulnerable people under Deputyships (namely those who have been appointed by the Court of Protection) with millions of pounds being claimed under these products. Until now, there has been no bond to replace financial assets leaving Donors financially compromised and sometimes penniless where attorneys have not acted correctly.
Legal advice for victims of financial abuse
At Gregg Latchams we work tirelessly to support those affected by financial abuse. Our team of specialist care solicitors have expertise in dealing with these cases and provide advice and support to achieve a positive outcome. If you feel your finances are unsafe under someone’s care or are worried for the financial security of a loved one, you can find further information about how we can help by clicking here.