My power of attorney got rejected & I couldn’t help my husband - Nicola Bushby in The Times - Boodle Hatfield

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08 Aug 2023

My power of attorney got rejected & I couldn’t help my husband – Nicola Bushby in The Times

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Nicola Bushby View profile
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In The Times, Private Wealth Disputes Partner, Nicola Bushby, reflects on recent statistics that show that 16.5% of lasting power of attorney (LPA) forms have been rejected since 2018 and highlights the main reason why so many LPAs are rejected.

During the 2021-22 financial year, a total of 31,254 LPAs were rejected (18,365 financial and 12,889 health), according to freedom of information data obtained by Quilter. Although this dipped slightly in 2022-23 to 29,124, total refusals were still much higher than in previous years. In 2020-21 there were 20,235 rejections, and in 2019-20 there were 24,457.

Nicola Bushby says: "The main reason why so many LPAs are rejected is because families don’t know what they legally can and can’t do. The rules are outlined in the Mental Capacity Act, but many families are not aware — or may not understand — the technicalities. It means they risk leaving instructions for their attorneys that are against the rules — which means that the OPG will reject their forms".

“Some donors seek to give primary power to just one attorney but have appointed two people. But elevating one attorney over the other invalidates an LPA — legally, you can’t do this.”

Forms need to be clearer, she added.

“There needs to be better guidance for families. The form has been written in a way to be as user friendly as possible, but the cost of this is that it is not always aligned with the Mental Capacity Act.”

Read the full article in The Times here.

A financial lasting power of attorney (LPA) means you can legally get someone to act on your behalf if you don’t want to manage your money affairs, or fear you will not be able to in the future. It must be approved by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). You have to apply while you can still make your own decisions, so Donna knew it was a race against time to make sure the paperwork was in place before Alan’s condition got worse.

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