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Published On: August 18, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

Investigating claims against attorneys and deputies who have abused vulnerable persons

Where a vulnerable person is unable to look after their finances, courts can appoint an attorney or deputy to do so for them.  Sadly, we are seeing a growing number of cases in which that attorney or deputy then goes on to seek financial advantage of the vulnerable person.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has responsibility to oversee attorneys and deputies.

Whilst deputies have a duty to produce annual accounts, attorneys have no formalised reporting to the OPG.  It is often the case that an attorney will manage that person’s finances for decades and have no contact whatsoever with the OPG.  As such financial abuse is unlikely to be checked early.

Over time, some attorneys come to consider their relative’s money to be part of their own family money. It is quite common for such attorneys not to keep good accounts, separating the two sets of finances. In these cases, it is not clear how money has been spent or the extent of any wrongdoing.

A review of spending often only occurs after the vulnerable person has died and a new professional or other family member is appointed to administer their estate. It can be a daunting task to undertake an analysis of spending and to make a considered decision as to whether to prosecute a claim.

* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

David Wedgwood

Head of Civil Litigation Joint Head of Court of Protection

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