Reports in ‘The Mail on Sunday’ today indicate that many Banks in the UK do not understand or accept Lasting Powers of Attorney. They also fail to recognise deputies appointed through the Court of Protection. As a result many carers are being denied access to the bank accounts of the people under their protection.
Fortunately the Financial Ombudsman Service has ruled strongly in favour of a carer who received that sort of bad service and who felt it necessary to pursue her complaint to the highest authority. The Bank involved finally apologised and compensated the carer for the ‘distress’ it caused. The case will cause many Banks to review their procedures.
The real importance of this report is to emphasise the need for a proper Power of Attorney to be in place where any individual becomes incapable of administering their own financial affairs. Anyone with assets and in particular cash,bank accounts,stocks and shares etc. should set up a Lasting Power of Attorney in the event that for any reason they become mentally incapable of handling their own affairs. The initial cost for doing this is miniscule when compared with the cost of applying to the Court of Protection to become a deputy in such circumstances and with all the stress that is inevitably experienced.