Pensions  

Power of attorney rise leads to misuse concerns

“It’s important the client feels they can trust their attorneys and, at times, concerns are raised. However, I explain there is protection of the law and also the fact that our firm would also have oversight of matters, giving a further safety net.”

Dave Penny, director at Invest Southwest, agreed that the rise in the existence of LPAs could only be a good thing but that extreme care was needed to decide who is made attorney.

He said: "They have a great deal of power and there is plenty of opportunity to make mistakes or be dishonest. We see plenty of botched jobs where the documents are simply not fit for purpose and would not be accepted by the OPG. Usually, by the time this is discovered, it too late. So they should be written with care and by experts."

Mr Penny added that financial advisers should be named in the document as the person to be referred to for advice if the client loses capacity.

He said: "This can provide continuity of advice and help the next generation. They should not be named an attorney, but they should be highlighted as the person to turn to for guidance."

The implication for financial advisers is that, if the client so desires, the financial adviser can be named in the document as the person to be referred to for advice if the client loses capacity.  This can help with continuity of advice and indeed engaging with the next generation.

imogen.tew@ft.com