Financial institutions need to do more to abide by LPAs

Financial institutions need to do more to abide by LPAs

Going through the heartache of caring for an ill or elderly family members is difficult enough, yet for those who have secured a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) are still trying to jump through financial hoops.

An LPA is a document that officially nominates an individual – or “attorney” – to look after your finances in the event that you become unable to do so yourself. An LPA can also outline any medical care or treatment you wish to have so that an attorney can act on your behalf.

Whilst an LPA is a legal document and is largely upheld in any circumstances relating to finances or care, a newspaper article at the weekend told a different story. According to the Times, banks are still proving difficult to deal with in a number of situations. One lady told of how difficult it was to sort out a fraudulent transaction on her mother’s account of £300. The bank in question are yet to register her power of attorney, so they insist they can only speak to her mother.

The LPA exists because her mother had lost physical and mental capacity and was extremely ill so it was physically impossible for mother to speak to the bank herself. Frustratingly, even when the lady went into her branch with all the relevant paperwork, she was still left without a solution to her situation.

There should be no reason why the bank should be preventing this lady’s as attorney to deal with  her mother’s finances if she has produced  all the correct paperwork and therefore has authority to do so under The Mental Capacity Act.

The whole point of an LPA is make people’s lives easier and it simply isn’t good enough to blame any processes on the bank’s side that need to be streamlined, or any similar excuse.

An LPA can come into force when an individual loses either physical or mental capacity to look after their financial affairs.  Considering there is currently more than 350,000 people in the UK living with dementia, these organisations need to catch up fast.

If you would like some more information relating to an LPA, contact the Private Client team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

Liz Dalgetty

Liz Dalgetty

Consultant Solicitor & Notary Public

Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502251

Office: Dorking Office