The Government has announced new safeguards for lasting power of attorney (LPAs).
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) set out a strategy to protect vulnerable people who have signed over financial responsibility.
LPAs can make decisions on behalf of somebody when they have diminished mental capacity, including paying bills, making medical decisions and choices that impact their welfare.
The OPG has committed to working more closely with safeguarding partners, including the NHS and social services. Under the ‘no wrong door’ strategy, the Government office has outlined a plan to listen to all safeguarding concerns, as well as acting on any signs of abuse or neglect.
The amount of people that have signed over financial control has more than tripled in the last five years, and the OPG says that all adults over the age of 18 should make an LPA as they urged people to plan for the future.
The OPG has pledged to improve online services, making the application process for an LPA more accessible. They intend to run a national awareness campaign, encouraging more people to sign up through a simplified process.
The OPG plays a significant role in power of attorney arrangements, administering and managing the applications, which are becoming more popular.
However, the number of applications to remove or censure attorneys rose by 71 per cent in 2017/18.
With this rise, there have also been warnings about the number of scams currently in operation. There have been cases of fraudsters targeting vulnerable people by obtaining the power of attorney under false pretences.