On August 15th, Denzil Lush, a recently retired senior judge of the Court of Protection (which oversees Lasting Powers of Attorney) was on the Today programme.
He said that he had seen many cases of abuse of Lasting Powers of Attorney, and he would personally prefer the Deputyship route, which is more heavily regulated.
Denzil Lush says that Deputyships (the alternative to LPA’s) are better regulated, which is true, but they are also more expensive and can take about 6 months to get. The Court of Protection fee is £400, (vs £82 per LPA) then once granted there is an annual insurance bond premium of around £400, and £320 for general supervision. On top of this, it usually costs about £1,500 plus VAT in lawyers’ fees to set up.
Deputyships can only be applied for when the donor has lost mental capacity, so he/she does not get to choose the attorneys.
Some of the safeguards that apply in a Deputyship can be incorporated into a properly drafted LPA. If additional safeguards are needed a professional such as a solicitor can be appointed.
It’s a debate we will follow with interest.