Volunteers are often the bedrock of charitable organisations, but they are not protected from sexual harassment within those organisations.
Having been the Judge of the Court of Protection for over 20 years, it is quite the condemnation of LPAs that have been increasingly advertised by the Ministry of Justice (through the Office of the Public Guardian) as a great solution for individuals to plan for their future.
Former Senior Judge Lush is certainly right to note that LPAs have a lack of safeguards that are, and have long been, inherent in the Court of Protection Deputyship system. This is where a Judge of the Court of Protection approves a person or people who are appointed as a Deputy to manage the affairs of a person who lacks the capacity to manage them themselves. The safeguards built into the Deputyship system include annual accounts having to be produced to the Office of the Public Guardian and an insurance bond to be paid for and put in place, which will pay out immediately if there are issues with the action taken by the appointed Deputy.
Proper advice can save the day!
Careful legal advice to the person creating an LPA could address many of the risks that Mr Lush sets out.
The Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Public Guardian have conducted a massive marketing campaign particularly aimed at people undertaking a ‘DIY’ approach to the preparation of LPAs – whilst empowering people and encouraging them to think about their future and needs, there is no substitute for careful legal advice tailored to individual circumstances.
For instance, legal advice can ensure a Donor considers whether somebody should be notified about them creating the LPA - ensuring that the donor has independently considered their position and is not subject to any influence.
Furthermore, some of the protections afforded to deputies could be incorporated into the conditions and requirements a Donor places on their Attorneys - e.g. a requirement for the attorneys to file annual accounts with an independent person such as an accountant, solicitor or other professional.
The important thing is not to throw the baby out with the bath water – ensuring that each individual makes the appropriate choice for their unique circumstances and has the best possible advice is key.
For close-knit families, where there is agreement and no reason to suspect a family fallout will occur and appropriate safeguards, such as a requirement to keep named people informed of significant decisions, are included as appropriate, LPAs offer a valuable, immediate and cost-effective solution to the potential problem of the Donor losing capacity in the future.
For those who have complicated family relationships and want to ensure that other people they might trust more than their family can make decisions or to be involved in decision-making for them, an LPA could be vital in providing peace of mind and ensuring that a person they want to help them and trust to do so can, whenever that might be necessary.
The best-laid plans
Unfortunately, in every walk of life, whether attorneys, deputies or just close friends lending a hand, there is always an opportunity for an unscrupulous person to find ways in which they can inflict pain on another person – whether through draining their account or simply not looking after them.
The key message is for people to take appropriate advice and to safeguard themselves as much as anybody possibly can against foreseeable but potentially catastrophic things happening – and the right solution for each person will be different. As with so many things in life, one size does not fit all.
Here at Anthony Collins Solicitors, we have been hard at work advising a charity client, BICMP, on its new music project, ‘Resonance’.
Currently, the only ground for divorce is irretrievable break down of a marriage. Following a consultation, the Government has announced its intention to reform the legal requirements for divorce.
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has recently made some noteworthy changes to its guidance around data subject access requests (DSARs).
In the fourth part of our series on contract management pitfalls, we look at the risks arising out of varying the terms of construction contracts.
A local authority recently received a "roasting" by the Pensions Ombudsman for their delay in processing an employee’s ill-health retirement pension, following her diagnosis with advanced cancer.
The Times is looking for three or four charities to feature in their editions running in December 2019 and early January 2020.
Cliff Mills defines and talks about the importance of social value in his blog, and its potential within Greater Manchester.
Following a power outage at Anthony Collins Solicitors’ (ACS) Birmingham office, our employees and partners currently have limited functionality, including no access to emails.
Joint ventures present an opportunity for housing associations to build organisational capacity, the revenues from which could help deliver on wider social housing commitments.
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