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Attorney or Deputy Investigations
JMW provides expert legal advice to those who believe a person appointed via an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or a court appointed Deputy is acting outside of the powers conferred to them.
To speak to our Attorney or Deputy investigation solicitors today, simply call us on 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will give you a call back.
Whether appointed as an Attorney or Deputy for a person’s financial affairs the person acting in the role should take care to ensure that they act within the scope of the powers conferred to them through the Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney, or through an Order of the Court of Protection.
Where there are signs that an individual is acting outside of their powers or is believed to be abusing their position, a referral may be made to the Office of the Public Guardian to consider that individual’s conduct and their appropriateness to carry on in the role of Attorney or Deputy.
Where it is found that the individual has abused their position, the Office of the Public Guardian has the power to:
- require that the Attorney or Deputy reimburse the person for whom they were acting;
- inform the police if they consider a crime has been committed;
- tell external agencies, including professional bodies;
- make referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service, which may mean the person reported can no longer work with adults or children.
Examples of Abuse of Power
Common situations that may lead to an investigation being commenced by the Office of the Public Guardian include:
- Unauthorised gifts or loans
- Use of funds by Attorney or Deputy for certain personal expenses
- Selling a property without applying for authority from the Court of Protection
- Not keeping records of expenses incurred
Often such scenarios occur due to a lack of awareness of what an Attorney can and can’t do, and it is possible to explain to the Office of the Public Guardian what has happened without sanction.
What Can I Do?
If an investigation is started by the Office of the Public Guardian it is normal for them to send a questionnaire to you to provide you with an opportunity to reply to any queries that are being raised. We can provide advice on completing the questionnaire and throughout any subsequent investigation and, given the variety of actions that can be taken by the Office of the Public Guardian against an individual, we would stress the importance of co-operating with their enquiries.
If you have concerns about the conduct of an Attorney or Deputy, you can raise them directly with the Office of the Public Guardian. You can also raise a concern where an Attorney or Deputy is no longer acting, such as where the person who created the Power of Attorney or subject to a Deputyship Order has passed away.
If you have concerns that a person is losing or has lost the capacity to manage their financial affairs and has nobody acting for them, please contact our Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning team or Court of Protection team to discuss the options available to assist that person.
Why Choose JMW?
We are highly experienced in dealing with Attorney and Deputy investigations and are able to act for our clients under a number of different funding arrangements, ranging from privately funded to conditional fee arrangements or third-party loans. We will work with you to determine the most appropriate way to fund your claim.