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Christine Thornley, Partner at Gorvins Solicitors, Wills, Trusts and Probate team, today expressed her disappointment at banks apparent unwillingness to brief staff properly on how to engage with people using power of attorney documents.

She was reacting to news about difficulties being experienced by people who have put in place all the proper legal powers only for their attorneys to face a monumental battle with financial institutions.

To combat the ambiguity surrounding lasting powers of attorney, Gorvins is continuing to run a successful series of education sessions on the subject for the general public. “It is a poorly understood legal process, and one that many find it difficult to understand,” said Christine, “it is something we are trying to address.

“It is important that what the public hear and learn is then backed up by banks and financial institutions, not undermined. The government and regulatory bodies need to make sure that people working at these places fully understand Lasting Powers of Attorney documents.

It is very disappointing that where the law enables people to appoint others to act as their attorney in the event that they need assistance, some of the banks and financial institutions are unwilling to invest time and money training their staff to understand what the documents do.

People who have planned ahead and made these legal appointments need to be confident that they can benefit from them without facing a lot of red tape from institutions who simply don’t understand the law. It makes an often difficult situation much harder and it’s quite unnecessary.”

Gorvins next advisory session will take place in their offices in central Stockport on Thursday 24th April from 5.30 – 7pm. . It will cover all aspects of the financial and property matters surrounding the subject with special emphasis on powers over health and welfare, which Christine warns “is still a very misunderstood aspect of powers of attorney and is rapidly becoming a crucial topic following the recent issues highlighted in the care industry.”

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) give a family member or friend, called your ‘attorney’, the authority to make certain decisions on your behalf, including  if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.

Christine again: “It’s important to make Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) while you are mentally able”

There are two types of LPA; a property and financial affairs LPA which gives your attorney the authority to deal with your property and financial affairs; and a health and welfare LPA which allows your attorney to make welfare and healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so yourself.