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Financial responsibilities of an attorney

Financial responsibilities of an attorney

Dealing with the financial affairs of a loved one can be difficult, especially when you need to comply with serious legal responsibilities. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) applied for court orders against attorneys alleged to have behaved poorly in more than 700 cases in 2018/19, by far the largest number ever.

If a local authority has reasonable cause to suspect that an adult is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect then they  must make whatever enquiries necessary to enable them to decide whether any action should be taken.  Abuse of an individual also includes financial abuse. Financial abuse means outright theft or fraud sometimes with the vulnerable person’s knowledge, acting beyond/without authority or outside what is in the person’s best interests, undue influence, moving assets or property, leaving a person without access to funds, unreasonable gifts or loans and changing a Will.

In order to rectify the financial abuse of an individual the local authority has powers such as revoking a Lasting Power of Attorney or removing a Deputy and they can also appoint a Professional Deputy. They can also report the abuse to the OPG and/or the Police.

If you are worried that a loved one has been experiencing financial abuse or you are unsure about your legal responsibilities as an attorney or you want to safeguard your financial interests, please do not hesitate to contact any of our offices where a member of the team will be happy to assist you.