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What are the downsides to LPAs?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by GarageDragon, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. GarageDragon

    GarageDragon Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    Hello, I am hoping that someone on here might be able to help me get some clarity: you seem to have a wealth of knowledge between you. I have been speaking with my mother about LPAs, but am worried about legalities. Please could anyone tell me if anyone signing up to be an attorney could be legally liable for anything, should they fail to take action if incapacity is reached? Or misses something out that should be done? My mother wishes me to be her attorney, but I live a number of hours away, and finances, family and health mean actual visits do not happen as often as one might like: I am reliant to a large degree on my mother's friends. While I am at a loss of who to suggest in my stead, I am terrified of making a mess of this, should it ultimately be needed. What are the downsides (other than crushing guilt)?
  2. mrjelly

    mrjelly Registered User

    Jul 23, 2012
    West Sussex
    The only downside I can think of would be in the situation where you had a jealous family member who made complaints about your integrity or competence. From what I have heard the government department who supervise LPAs take a pretty sceptical view of any unsubstantiated complaints.

    You can always relinquish your role as attorney after the LPA has been set up, so perhaps your Mum could nominate a solicitor or accountant to act as the replacement attorney if you wanted to step down.

    You can register the LPA while your Mum has capacity, and be discreetly monitoring her accounts for a period before you step in and take over completely.
  3. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    There are a number of people here who care from a distance so I don't think it would be as much of a concern as you might think. One person here cared from the US so it can definitely be done.
  4. missmarple

    missmarple Registered User

    Jan 14, 2013
    I have an LPA for my Dad who has AD and it has been a life saver. It is sometimes wearying to have to fulfill all the obligations of an attorney, but that's not because of the LPA it's because I'm the only responsible adult on the scene. If i didn't have it in place so many things would have been 10 times tougher or downright impossible.
    The only problems i have heard has been when squabbles break out between siblings and some siblings feel very threatened by the child who is the attorney and suspect it will have deleterious effects on their inheritance, and get litigious. Not nice but luckily my brother and i agree on all matters financial and administrative to do with Dad so it hasn't been a problem for me.
  5. GarageDragon

    GarageDragon Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    Thank you very much for your replies, they are very much appreciated - and very helpful. I have started getting the forms filled in, with my mother considering some of the options. Whether 'tis true or not, I feel like I am trying to pick my way through a potential minefield!
  6. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    As long as you act in the best interests of your Mother and in good faith then there should not be any problems coming your way.

    However, and I do not say this to unduly worry you, but you can be held liable if you do not do things correctly.

    There is a guidance booklet that helps you fill in the form and on starting on page 36 there is advice to "attorneys". Well worth a read.

    I cannot upload it on here as it says it is too big but if you go here.........

  7. Norfolkgirl

    Norfolkgirl Account Closed

    Jul 18, 2012
    Does anyone know if, once an Attorney for an LPA has been removed for failing to act in best interests of donor (fraud etc.), can the court appoint someone in the place of the attorney, e.g. a remaining family member who brought the concerns of the original attorney to the attention of OPG in first place or does the remaining family member have to apply from scratch as a Deputy. The donor has since lost capacity.

    Also is there an equivalent guidance booklet for Deputies?
  8. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
  9. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    garagedragon, I think the other thing to think about is what will happen if you don't get power of attorney. If your mother starts to lack capacity, you can quickly get to a point where you are unable to access her finances to pay for any help needed and have to go through the much more costly and frustrating routes via the court of protection.

    In my experience having power of attorney is not onerous at all and I agree with the previous poster who said if you are honest in your dealings you have nothing to fear. .If you become involved in looking after her finances just make sure you keep a record of what money is being spent. It would probably be a great relief for your mother to know you have taken this on and remember, you only need to use it as and when she loses capacity.

    Living a distance away doesn't make any difference to the situation. Just please bear in mind that the options without power of attorney can be much more complicated and costly as many on these boards would attest to.
  10. elizabet

    elizabet Registered User

    Mar 26, 2013
    I lived a great distance from my Mum and was so glad I got LPA for finances She kept forgetting her pin numbers to draw out her money from the post office bank and without POA I was helpless when trying to manage any of her financial affairs because of bank security. Once I had LPA I could access and manage her financial details and also had a cheque book with her permission . This enabled me to pay her council tax, phone bills etc whereas before I was writing cheques from my own bank account.

    Once a person dies however, the LPA stops.
  11. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    I also used Mums LPA to have her post redirected so I could filter out the important stuff and the junk and then I used to send what was left to a neighbour to ' deliver'. That stopped a lot of confused phone calls and things going missing.

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