Powers of Attorney guidance should boost awareness of family law issues

Lasting Powers of Attorney are an important feature of the British family law landscape, allowing family members to take responsibility for a loved one’s finances and other legal affairs, if they are unable to properly look after their own interests.

The reasons for this can be wide-ranging, from physical disability to diminished mental capacity, and while Lasting Powers of Attorney are a powerful instrument of family law, those who are granted such powers may face a lack of understanding from financial services providers and other such organisations.

Now the Building Societies Association and British Bankers Association have issued guidance on the issue to their members, ensuring that banks and building societies treat third-party mandate holders fairly and consistently.

“Each situation is different, and the new guidance will help banks and building societies provide the right service with the least possible stress and inconvenience to the customer at what can be a very difficult and traumatic time,” says BBA chief executive Anthony Browne.

There have been over 530,000 Lasting Powers of Attorney registered in the UK since 2007, covering property, savings and other such assets, but with around 800,000 Britons suffering from dementia alone in 2012, there is plenty of scope for this figure to rise.

For more information about how you can apply for control of a relative’s finances, to prevent them from being taken advantage of, speak to our family law specialists about registering for a Lasting Power of Attorney.