Lasting Powers of Attorney | Splinter

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

Growing old is inevitable, but thinking and talking about the consequences of getting older is uncomfortable. For most of us, the gradual decline in our faculties will happen over an extended period of time; for others, it may happen over just a few short years.

In the past, it was possible to draft an enduring power of attorney that stipulated that you had to appoint only one attorney and came into effect when it could be proved that the donor was incapable of managing their affairs.

The misuse of enduring powers of attorney has led to numerous reports of fraud and mismanagement of people’s cash and possessions, so much so that members of the public demanded an improved legal document, namely a lasting power of attorney.

Lessons from the Case of Frank Willett

“Many individuals consider creating a power of attorney for various reasons. However, recent events surrounding Frank Willett, a World War II veteran, have shed light on the poor outcome of having an enduring power of attorney.

In 2000, Frank Willett, then 78 years old, became neighbours with Mr. Blake. Frank quickly began relying on Mr. Blake and his wife for assistance with daily tasks such as shopping and doctor’s visits. The Blakes’ assistance was initially satisfactory to Frank’s daughter and her husband, who lived 300 miles away in South Wales.

In 2003, when Frank was in his early 80s and suffering from dementia, he was taken to a local solicitor to establish an enduring power of attorney (EPA).

This EPA granted Mr. Blake authority over Frank’s financial matters and also involved persuading Frank to create a new will, naming Mr. Blake as the primary beneficiary.

Shortly after becoming Frank’s attorney, Mr. Blake began making substantial withdrawals from Frank’s bank account. He had been frugal over the years, amassing savings of approximately £60,000. In February 2003, Mr. Blake withdrew nearly £9,000 in one transaction, without raising suspicion due to the provided EPA. Mr. Blake also used Frank’s funds to cover his own expenses.

In 2004, Frank’s health declined, and he moved into a care home. Mr. Blake then used the EPA to sell Frank’s home.


Frank’s daughter, Lesley, grew suspicious of Mr. Blake’s motives and decided to challenge the EPA in court. At this point, they were unaware that Frank’s savings had been depleted, making it difficult to prove Mr. Blake’s unfitness as Frank’s attorney. Despite their efforts, the judge upheld the EPA but ordered Mr. Blake to provide annual financial accounts.

Lesley and her husband continued reporting concerns to the Public Guardianship Office and the Court of Protection but received reassurances that everything was in order.

In 2007, Lesley discovered Mr. Blake’s plans to relocate to France. More alarmingly, Frank’s care bills were in arrears. Consequently, in 2008, the newly established Office for Public Guardian (OPG) investigated and revoked the EPA. Lesley was appointed as Frank’s deputy by the court.

Only then did Lesley uncover the extent of Mr. Blake’s misappropriation.

Frank’s entire savings, service medals, her mother’s wedding ring, jewellery, family photographs, and documents had disappeared. Lesley reported these matters to the police.

Sadly, Frank passed away in 2009. The law pursued Mr. Blake, who eventually pleaded guilty to theft and received a four-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

Lasting Power of Attorney More Secure

The type of power of attorney involved was an enduring power of attorney (EPA), EPAs allowed for relatively easy preparation and execution with limited oversight and allowed only one attorney, making it relatively easy for unscrupulous attorneys to misappropriate funds.

Source: The Law Society Gazette

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) 

The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is an improvement on the old EPA and was introduced in October 2007. You are required to have a minimum of two attorneys.

Types of Lasting Power of Attorney

  1. Property and Financial Affairs LPA: Trusting someone with your financial affairs is a serious decision. Whether it is managing bank transactions, overseeing property sales, or managing investments, you retain control, and the LPA is managed according to your wishes.
  2. Health and Welfare LPA: Your well-being is paramount. Granting authority for health-related decisions demands a partner who understands your values. With UnaVida, you are assured of guidance that respects your views on medical interventions and quality of life.

The Role of the Office of Public Guardian (OPG)

This UK government body monitors the registration and administration of LPAs.

Costs of Drafting and Registering LPAs

While the DIY route might seem financially appealing, it’s fraught with potential pitfalls. A single error can lead to future complications and unforeseen expenses. On the other hand, investing in the services of an LPA specialist available through UnaVida provides guidance, ensuring your LPA is error-free and truly reflective of your wishes. 

If you are a business owner, you will require a separate LPA for your business.


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