May 20, 2020
LPA Safeguarding in practice – when things go wrong – Part 3
This blog was first published by Lawskills and has been replicated here in part, the original article is available on the following link
LPA Safeguarding in practice – when things go wrong
In our last article, John Smith lost capacity and his Lasting Power of Attorney had been invoked. John had appointed his niece to manage his financial affairs, and his solicitor as his professional safeguarder to ensure that any transactions are in John’s interest and above board.
Now, we discover that John’s niece, is under financial pressure because she has significant gambling debts – both John and his solicitor were unaware that she had any gambling problems. She has been using John’s money to service her debts.
Because John appointed a safeguarder, and all the transaction information is transparent within Switchfoot Teams, John’s solicitor has identified some unexpected and unexplained withdrawals and payments from John’s account. The safeguarder raised their concern with the Office of Public Guardian and is able to produce a comprehensive report of John’s finances as evidence.
It is clear that John’s niece can no longer be trusted to manage his finances, so an application is made to the Court of Protection to revoke the LPA and appoint a deputy. The court then appoints a professional deputy from the panel to manage John’s finances from that point.
The Deputy’s Role
Often, when a court-appointed deputy takes over from an attorney under an LPA, they have to deal with poor paperwork, missing records and disorganised administration. John’s decision to use Switchfoot Teams, however, means that the deputy is in a much better position to get straight on with managing John’s affairs:
- Detailed records help in attempting to recover the lost assets from the previous attorney.
- The deputy can produce accounts, using Switchfoot Teams, to help complete the OPG deputy return.
- When making best interest decisions on John’s behalf, section 4(7) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Chapter 5 of the code of practice sets out requirements for the deputy to consult with others. The ability to invite others into Switchfoot Teams, and control the sharing of information and documents, makes it easy for the deputy to consult.
Partnering with Switchfoot Teams
Switchfoot Wealth has partnered with Switchfoot Teams to provide access to the Switchfoot Teams portal which has been developed to meet the needs of attorneys, deputies and trustees.
To find out more, contact us today.
I started Switchfoot Wealth to offer financial planning that matches the way we live and work today. Using the best technology and offering expertise gained through both formal qualifications and years of working closely with clients, we are bringing financial planning into the 21st century, helping people, businesses and professional advisers make the most of their time and their money.
– Sebastian Ewell
Switchfoot Wealth Founder
Read more about Switchfoot Wealth
It can be difficult for healthy clients to imagine being unable to make decisions for themselves. Even clients who are acting as attorneys for parents or are carers often think it won’t happen to me.
But drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney is fundamental to good financial management and providing clients with the care they’ll need in difficult times. We must persuade clients to put one in place before it’s too late.
We believe that cash flow planning is an essential part of private client work – for financial advisers, accountants and solicitors alike. Understanding its importance means we can give better advice and that in turn allows our clients to make the most of what they have.
There are many legitimate reasons why people may want to make large gifts: for example, inheritance tax planning, supporting family members or ‘balancing up’ previously unequal gifts to family. When planning gifts, it is important that individuals take advice and document objectives and the effect of the gift, which can help protect them from an accusation of ‘deliberate deprivation’ in the future. Cashflow planning can help in this instance
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